Malaysia's government has been cracking down on human trafficking and slavery. Photo: iStock

Three fish farmers were jailed for five years in Malaysia last Wednesday after being convicted of making 12 Indonesians work as slaves.

Sim Kai Chyuan, 35, Bang Lai Seng, 49, and a third person who absconded were found guilty for forcing 12 Indonesians to work at their fish farm in Yong Peng, Johor, Malaysia, The Star reported.

All three were sentenced to five years in prison and were fined 60,000 ringgit (US$14,373)  each on 12 counts of human trafficking. The person still at large was said to be the farm owner.

According to court documents, the victims were aged between 19 and 46. They were not allowed to leave the farm, were not paid and had no days off.

The Malaysian government has taken a tough stance against human trafficking and modern slavery. Last year the Malaysian Foreign Minister pointed out that the government had made human trafficking among its highest priorities and said he expected it to be a thing of the past by 2030.

Statistics from The Global Slavery Index show approximately 212,000 people were being held as modern slaves in Malaysia, ranking the country at 42 out of 167 countries in the Prevalence Index Rank.