Gov't Says 53 Indonesians Held Hostage in Cambodia in Alleged Trafficking

Diana Mariska
Director of citizen protection at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Judha Nugraha. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Director of citizen protection at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Judha Nugraha. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) - Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that 53 Indonesian citizens are being held hostage in Cambodia, and the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh has started communication with Cambodian National Police to start evacuation effort.

Director of citizen protection at the Ministry Judha Nugraha said the 53 Indonesians are allegedly held hostage after being victims of a fake investment company in the city of Sihanoukville.

“The Indonesian Embassy has contacted the Cambodian Police to ask for help to evacuate while maintaining communication with the Indonesian citizens. The police is currently undertaking handling efforts,” Nugraha said on Thursday, July 28, as reported by Antara.

According to him, fraud investment cases have been rife in the country through opportunities shared on social media.

In 2021, Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh successfully repatriated 119 Indonesians who fell victims to such scam.

The number rose significantly, and until July 2022, up to 291 Indonesian citizens were reported to be victims in fake investment cases, and 133 of them have been repatriated.

And to help solving the ongoing problems, Nugraha said the Ministry has authorized Indonesian Police’s criminal investigation agency (Bareskrim) to investigate the cases in Cambodia.

“The Embassy also gets information from the evacuated victims about all agencies that are mostly from Indonesia,” Nugraha explained, adding that the information is also shared with the police to be investigated and to ensure mitigation can be formulated to prevent more victims.

Information about the situation in Cambodia was first shared by an Instagram user who asked Central Java’s governor as well as manpower and transmigration office to evacuate 54 Indonesians held hostage in Cambodia.

 “We immediately followed up the report and obtain information from one Indonesian citizen named Mohammad Effendy. He represented the 54 Indonesians working in Cambodia who allegedly fell victim to worker placement fraud and trafficking in persons,” head of the office Sakina Rosellasari said.

The migrant workers were offered to work as operators, call center officers, and finance officers, but they were given different jobs when they arrived.

“The modus operandi was nonprocedural departure where each worker being sent by different agency. Based on information, they were going to be trafficked in three days,” Rosellasari revealed.

Tag # trafficking in persons # judha nugraha # indonesian embassy in phnom penh # foreign affairs # manpower issues

Latest news

Top Headlines