Human Cage, Protected Species Found at Langkat Regent's House

Diana Mariska
Human cage in Langkat Regent's house (Photo: Special Doc.)
Human cage in Langkat Regent's house (Photo: Special Doc.) - Indonesian authorities found 27 people in a human cage inside the house of Langkat Regent Terbit Rencana Perangin Angin who was arrested over a graft case.

During the investigation by Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on the alleged corruption case involving Angin, its team of investigators found a human cage inside his residence. The 27 people that were found to be living in the cage were initially reported to be workers in the Regent’s oil palm plantation.

However, Migrant Care, an NGO focusing on the protection of migrant workers, later filed a report to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) on the suspicion of a trafficking in persons (TIP) case related to the finding.

“There were workers in his plantation, and we found seven cases of violent and inhuman treatment, which are suspected as modern slavery and trafficking,” Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah said in Jakarta on Monday, January 24.

According to reports received by the NGO, the cage was built to house workers after they returned from plantation. They were also reportedly cut off from any access, including communication, and were physically tortured.

Furthermore, it’s also reported that Angin didn’t provide enough food to eat and didn’t pay them for the work.

Different version of the story, however, was told by Kuala subdistrict head Imanta PA. According to him, the human cage was built as a drug rehabilitation for youth within the area.

“He wasn’t a Regent at the time, and he was leading a youth organization in Langkat Regency. He was concerned about the members who became drug addicts, and the cage was built for them,” Imanta said on Wednesday, January 26, as reported by

Later on, he added, more and more people in the area asked Angin to also treat their family members who were battling with addiction.

“From what I know, the Regent declined the request, but the majority of people who came and asked for his help were from the lower income group.”

Imanta admitted that different aspects of the cage need to be improved, including its permit and facility, but he said a lot of people found the cage to be a helping hand, especially because the treatment was given for free.

However, South Sumatra’s National Narcotics Agency (BNN) reported that not everyone found in that cage were active drug users. From dozens of people who were evacuated, nine went through drug testing, and seven tested positive.

Besides human cage, during later house search, a number of protected animals were also found in Angin’s residence, including an orangutan.

Acting KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said on Tuesday that the Commission will coordinate with related agencies and institutions to decide the next step related to the finding.   

Tag # modern slavery # trafficking in persons # langkat # north sumatra # crime # human cage

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