Immigration Detains Couple Over Suspected Human Trafficking


FEBRUARY 17, 2015

Jakarta. Immigration authorities at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport have detained a husband and wife for alleged human trafficking.

Syrian Jamal Al-Khadafi, 40, and his Indonesian wife Laila Yunita, also 40, have been accused of sending Indonesian women to the United Arab Emirates via Malaysia, the airport’s immigration office chief, Sutrisno, told on Tuesday.

The operation was uncovered when immigration officials checked the documentation of three women who were accompanying Laila to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on Jan. 25.

“When we checked their documentation, the passports of the three women were fake,” said Ahmad Husny, chief of Soekarno-Hatta's immigration control division.

After questioning Laila, authorities were able to track down Al-Khadafi at his home in South Jakarta.

Indonesian migrant workers are frequent victims of human trafficking. Poverty and a lack of education make them an easy target for illegal recruiters and employment agencies.

In August last year, fourteen girls aged between 15 and 17 were returned to Indonesia from Malaysia after being forced to work there as prostitutes, striptease dancers, and hostesses in karaoke bars.