Cablegate: Sumatra:Jambi Police Rescue 5 Tip Victims

P 010435Z DEC 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary. In a case which demonstrates how local police in remote
parts of Indonesia are aware of anti-trafficking efforts, police
raided a salon/karaoke parlor in Telanaipura District, Jambi
Province in southern Sumatra on November 21, rescuing girls who had
been trafficked into prostitution. This raid was part of an ongoing
effort in Jambi. All of these West Java victims said they were
promised jobs at the salon/karaoke parlor but were not aware that
they were going to be prostituted. Jambi police arrested the couple
who own the salon and are currently seeking the other traffickers
involved. The couple will face child-trafficking, fraud, and pimping
charges under Indonesia's tough new anti-trafficking laws. End


2. On November 21 Jambi police raided a local salon and karaoke
parlor in the Telanaipura District, rescuing four girls and a woman
who had been forced to work at the salon as prostitutes. Police
arrested the business owner and his wife. The five victims ranged in
age from 15 to 18 (one age 15, one age 16, two age 17 and one age
18) and had been working in the salon for nearly a month. Four of
the girls were from the West Java district Cianjur and one girl came
from the East Jakarta suburb of Bekasi. The girls told police that
they had originally signed up to work at the salon but were not
aware that they would be prostituted. Locals in the neighborhood
complained to police about the illegal activities, resulting in the
November 21 raid.

3. On November 24, after spending several nights at a government
shelter run by Jambi social welfare authorities, the five
trafficking victims were transported with police escort back to West
Java. In a conversation with Consulate Medan staff on November 26,
the Jambi police indicated they are collecting birth certificates
and family information from all of the victims for use in the
investigation and eventual charges against the salon owners. The
police also stated that the parents of the victims denied any
knowledge of their children being involved in prostitution in Jambi.
Jambi police added that their focus was not only on bringing the
couple to trial but in finding the traffickers that connected the
salon owners to the victims and brought them to Jambi.


4. Jambi social workers told Consulate Medan staff in a conversation
on November 26 that this is the third trafficking case in Jambi
during 2008. During two previous cases a total of 10 TIP victims
were returned to Java in cases similar to the November 21 raid.
Jambi Province is the fourth largest producer of palm oil in Sumatra
despite having a population of only 2.7 million, and is bisected by
the trans-Sumatran highway which traverses the island and links it
to Java. Police told Medan that they are considering wider sweeps of
salons and karaoke parlors to search for additional victims with a
focus on finding any underage girls who have been trafficked to
Jambi for prostitution.

5. Local Jambi NGO SIKOK told Consulate Medan that cases of
trafficking and prostitution are on the rise in Jambi and that
police action, while welcome, needed to be sustained and more
broadly applied in order to be effective. The NGO, which is normally
involved in HIV/AIDS prevention efforts and educates prostitutes on
the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, told Medan that most of
the people who frequent these types of salons are locals and that
they pay in a range from IDR 200,000 to IDR 400,000 ($16 to $32) for
sex with the women and girls.

6. National Police and other government agencies have been
undertaking a country-wide effort to educate local police and
communities on human trafficking. Promoting public awareness about
the tough new 2007 anti-trafficking law to remote areas has taken
time but these efforts in Jambi show that the law is now having an
impact in even some of the more isolated provinces. The fact that
police acted on a tip from citizens indicates good cooperation
between law enforcement authorities and civil society, so crucial in
fighting trafficking. If Jambi authorities can deter trafficking to
that province before it takes hold they can deter traffickers from
using Jambi as a destination point.


© Scoop Media

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