Riau Islands police arrest Chinese national linked to Indonesian sailor's death

JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Riau Islands police have arrested a supervisor of a Chinese fishing vessel in connection with the death of an Indonesian crew member.

Riau Islands police general crimes director Sr. Comr. Arie Darmanto said that the supervisor, a 50-year-old Chinese national named Mr Song Chuan Yun, was suspected of physically abusing Indonesian crew member Hasan Apriadi, who was found dead aboard the Chinese fishing vessel Lu Huang Yuan Yu 117 last week.

“The suspect and the evidence have been secured at the Riau Islands Police general crimes division headquarters for further investigation,” Mr Arie told The Jakarta Post on Monday (July 13).

A joint task force arrested the vessels Lu Huang Yuan Yu 117 and Lu Huang Yuan Yu 118 off the coast of Riau Islands last week, following a report of the death of an Indonesian crew member aboard one of the ships.

Mr Hasan’s body was found in the freezer of the Lu Huang Yuan Yu 117. He is believed to have been a victim of human trafficking.

Tanjung Pinang Naval Base commander Cdre. Indarto Budiaro said there were strong signs that both vessels were involved in human trafficking, money laundering and physical abuse.

In May, a video on Facebook appeared to show a group of sailors on another Chinese vessel, the Lu Qing Yuan Yu 623, throwing the body of an Indonesian sailor into the sea. Prior to that, there was public outrage at the death of four Indonesian sailors registered to another Chinese fishing ship.

The NGO Destructive Fishing Watch has alleged that 30 Indonesian crewmen have been subject of exploitation aboard Chinese fishing vessels between November 2019 and June this year, including seven who have died and three who are missing.

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