Kupang, Indonesia. Photo: Wikipedia.
Kupang, Indonesia. Photo: Wikipedia.

Local police in East Nusa Tenggara (ENT), Indonesia have arrested a human trafficker who had been in hiding for four years.

On October 28 in Kupang—the state capital of predominantly Christian ENT, 59-year-old Siprianus Kopong was arrested after four years on the run, UCA News reported. Kopong was reportedly sentenced to four years of jail time back in 2014.

According to prosecutor Dedie Tri Hariyadi, Kopong smuggled hundreds of victims, mainly girls, from ENT to neighboring countries.

NGO director Martinus Gabriel Goa Sola said the arrest will serve as a warning to other players involved in human trafficking. He added that Kopong is just a pawn in what he described as a “bigger human trafficking syndicate.”

Sola has hopes that Kopong will lead to other criminals in the network.

Kopong reportedly worked as an employment agent who falsely promised victims well-paid jobs overseas. Victims often ended up working as domestic workers or were forced into prostitution.

Maria Hingi of the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union for ENT said Kopong should be an example that shows people cannot exploit poor people and draw them in with false promises.

According to Sola, around 2,000 people are trafficked from ENT to Malaysia every year.