Indonesian police are hunting further suspects behind a human trafficking ring that reportedly smuggled at least 12 women and girls into China, a police spokesperson said on Thursday.
Dedi Prasetyo, Brigadier General of the Indonesian Police, said four people, including a Chinese national, were apprehended in June when a victim escaped from a Jakarta apartment that served as a holding facility for the women to be smuggled, Benar News reported.
Prasetyo said the arrested suspects had lured 12 women by offering them jobs as shopkeepers and waitresses in China. They ended up being sold to Chinese men as sham brides.
“Some of the women are in fact underage,” the police spokesman said.
Indonesian police are now coordinating with Interpol, Chinese police and the Chinese embassy in Jakarta to bring the women back home to Indonesia.
The brigadier general also said they are looking for other members of the syndicate.
In Indonesia, the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Workers (BNP2TKI) implored locals to be vigilant about fake job offers.
Last week, the Indonesian police arrested five people who allegedly smuggled a 16-year-old girl from Indonesia to Malaysia.
The victim was reportedly lured by a Facebook post that offered a job in Malaysia that would pay her 7 million rupiah (US$473) monthly. She ended up being forced to work long hours and was limited to only one meal a day.