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TKI Trafficking: Persuade Rayu from Magelang to Malaysia

TEMPO.CO, Magelang - The recruiter for prospective migrant workers lured a woman to work in Singapore. He, let's call him Muhayanto, stated that he was getting an order to find formal sector workers to be placed in this neighboring country. To this prospective migrant worker, Muhayanto asked the seriousness of his intention to work as a migrant worker. He gave an idea that working abroad is not easy. "The work is hard work," said Muhayanto at his home in Magelang, Central Java in mid-November 2016.

He explained a number of administrative requirements to become Indonesian Migrant Workers in the Lion country. He asked the prospective migrant worker the name of the school and the city where the school was located. Because, he said, prospective migrant workers are required to have a school certificate. He stated that if the prospective migrant worker does not have complete documents, he will help to arrange it for a fee of between Rp. 7 million to Rp. 9 million.

Apart from a diploma, Muhayanto mentioned a number of other requirements. For example, if it turns out that the prospective migrant worker does not have it yet, Muhayanto guarantees that the Indonesian Manpower Service Company (PJTKI) or the Private Indonesian Migrant Worker Placement (PPTKIS) will help arrange it. Muhayanto said that the PJTKI will help arrange the Family Card.

The job order in Singapore, said Muhayanto, also requires prospective migrant workers to be unmarried. If it turns out that the prospective migrant worker is married, the PJTKI will help obtain documents that show that he is single. He also explained that he would enter Singapore using a 48-page passport with a visit visa or a Journey Performed visa.
Prospective migrant workers, said Muhayanto, can get a tourist visa in a short time, three days. He said there were people who used to apply for passports and be connected to officials at the Immigration Office. "We can take care of the passports. Immigration people are also looking for additional needs, "said Muhayanto. Migrant workers from Magelang usually apply for passports at the Wonosobo Immigration Office.

Washono, the Class II Immigration Office Service Section, denied Muhayanto's statement, Wonosobo, Central Java. He said his office does not process passports with visit visas for migrant workers or Indonesian workers. According to him, submitting a passport for migrant workers who have never had a passport must use a recommendation letter from the Manpower Office. "For workers who already have a passport, usually calling visas are managed by the PJTKI," he said.

According to him, submitting a passport includes a passport for work, umrah and travel. The passport process took three days. Every person applying for a passport, he said, is required to pay directly through a state bank.

Recently, said Muhayanto, since the government has been aggressively eradicating illegal fees, passport brokers have been lying down so that they cannot apply for tourist visas quickly. According to him, currently passport brokers and PJTKI send more prospective migrant workers using calling visas. This type of visa is an additional visa program for migrant workers who have completed their 3-year contract to return to work overseas for the second 3 years.

So, even though the prospective migrant worker has never worked abroad, Muhayanto said he would help get it. Of course, he said, it would take longer, around two to three weeks.

Maimunah (not her real name) is a victim of human trafficking. He knows the ins and outs of migrant workers in Magelang, Temanggung and surrounding areas. According to him, Muhayanto was known to be good at recruiting people. In recruiting people, said Maimunah, Muhayanto was really persistent. In fact, according to him, Muhayanto did it in an unnatural way, for example by dating prospective migrant workers. He is PJTKI's favorite recruiter.

In the world of migrant workers, Muhayanto's job is often referred to as a Field Recruiter (PL). The money that went into Muhayanto's pocket was also big. Now, he has the nicest house compared to his left and right neighbors in Magelang. One car was parked in the garage of his house. "He is now a rich man in his village," said Maimunah to Tempo, last mid-November.

Seeing that the TKI's stomach was stepped on

Field recruiters work for PJTKIs. In general, they do not supply prospective migrant workers to just one company. Muhayanto too. Maimunah said, Muhayanto had worked at a PJTKI based in Semarang, owned by Diana Aman. The Indonesian National Police's Criminal and Investigation Agency arrested Diana Aman and 13 other people around mid-August 2016.

They were immediately named as suspects in the human trafficking case from Central Java, East Nusa Tenggara, East Java, Riau and North Sumatra. The Director of General Crimes at Bareskrim Polri, Brigadier General Agus Andrianto, stated that the suspects were suspected of being involved in human trafficking from Indonesia to Malaysia by falsifying migrant workers' documents, including falsifying their identity.

Agus said, in a day, this network can sell ten people. Among the victims, they came from Central Java, East Nusa Tenggara and East Java. Among the victims, some were under the age of 18, which was under the Child Protection Law. "There is a suspicion that they are related to organ trafficking," said Agus when giving his statement on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

Diana Aman's arrest did not stop Muhayanto from recruiting prospective migrant workers. He stated that he has a network with a number of PJTKI in Central Java. So, even if the police arrested Diana Aman, she could send her recruits to another PJTKI. "I am flexible, I can sign people into other companies," said Muhayanto.

Four years ago, Muhayanto had also recruited migrant workers from Magelang, namely Sumarti. Tragically, Sumarti later became a victim of human trafficking. He told Tempo about the harsh life of migrant workers in Malaysia. He left for Malaysia through PT Bridge Synergy which is based in Bantul Regency, Yogyakarta. The company is an office for the consultation of migrant workers who want to go to work abroad. The owner is named Tan Wee Hwa.

Sumarti was recruited by Muhayanto with the promise of a monthly salary of 600 Malaysian Ringgit (Rp 1.8 million), a six month salary cut according to the work contract. To apply for a passport, Muhayanto only needed three days at the immigration office. Sumarti departed from Yogyakarta Airport to Medan Polonia Airport. In Medan, a broker has been waiting for him to drive a private car.

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From Polonia, Sumarti was invited to Tanjungbalai City. After that, he was escorted to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In Kuala Lumpur, a member of the human trafficking network has been waiting for Sumarti. Network members asked Sumarti to take a public vehicle to the PJTKI agent office on Penang Island. It was in the office that he saw workers from Indonesia often beaten until they bled. "There was a TKI whose stomach was stepped on," said Sumarti.

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According to him, a number of migrant workers are accommodated at the PJTKI agent before being selected by the employer. At least, at that time, there were six people. Some of them came from East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, and Central Java. A person from Central Java is a Magelang. They are trained to carry out daily tasks as domestic workers, such as cleaning. They work on assignments from morning to evening. When the Malaysian boss sees the migrant workers unable to do their job, he beats them.

Sexual harassment in prison

All migrant workers are prohibited from carrying money and cell phones. The PJTKI agent employees search every migrant worker by being asked to be naked. Their passports were also detained by the owner of the PJTKI agent. According to Sumarti, the boss of the PJTKI agent is very well known in Malaysia and is feared by other agent owners in the Johor and Kelantan areas.

The boss of the PJTKI agent on Penang Island, said Sumarti, has a violent temper. One day, he punished a migrant worker who was caught resting. The worker from Lombok was locked in a toilet and not given food. "I helped by putting rice into a small glass and smuggling it," said Sumarti.

According to him, while working in Malaysia, migrant workers at the agency are not allowed to read work contracts. The employer selects them and pays the agent. Salaries are paid on a trial period of six months and deducted. Migrant workers are exploited because some are ordered to work from 05.00 am to 12 pm.

Sumarti only lasted six months at the Penang Island PJTKI agent. Unable to stand the rude behavior of the boss of the PJTKI agent, Sumarti fled by pretending to throw out the trash. During his flight, Sumarti often met many Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia. "I also met migrant workers from Indonesia who became sex workers," said Sumarti.

There are also construction workers and workers on oil palm plantations. According to him, many migrant workers who run away from their employers in Malaysia have been arrested by the Malaysian police for not carrying their passports. "Migrant workers are also sexually abused in Malaysian prisons," said Sumarti. He survived from one place to another in Malaysia. Sumarti moved around and made friends with Indonesian migrant workers. He returned to Indonesia with the help of a PJTKI agent boss, a Malaysian citizen.

The boss of the PJTKI agent sent home Sumarti as wages and helped her to repatriate a number of TKI. According to Sumarti, apart from going through Medan, the trafficking network also uses the Batam route to send migrant workers from Indonesia. From Batam, TKIs are sent to Johor via persons connected to the trafficking network. Sumarti gave a number of contact numbers for everyone connected to the network. PJTKI agents in Malaysia, where Sumarti was employed, are still recruiting Indonesian workers through PJTKIs in Semarang.

The owner of PT Bridge Synergy, Tan Wee Hwa, has denied sending Indonesian workers without complete documents to Malaysia. According to him, Bridge Synergy has the status as a representative for labor users from Malaysia since 2009-2012. Their job, according to Tan, is to select prospective workers recruited by PJTKIs who offer jobs to users. Synergy Bridge, according to him, also does not process labor administratively. "It is not true that workers can leave via the Synergy Bridge," said Tan.

The PT Bridge Synergy office is in the same complex as Bank Bantul on Jl. Gadjah Mada No. 3 Bantul Yogyakarta. In front of the office is a sign that says PT Bridge Synergy Consultant Office. Tempo visited the office and met the administrative staff, Eni. According to Eni, Bridge Synergy is a place to ask or consult prospective migrant workers. They are mostly vocational high school graduates who are employed in garment factories, electronics factories, and building construction by PJTKI in Malaysia. "The people who came to consult came from Magelang," said Eni.

The Head of the Development and Placement of Manpower at the Office of Manpower, Social and Transmigration of Magelang Regency, Bagus Prasetyo, said that complete documents are absolutely necessary for every worker. For example, diploma documents, family cards, identity cards. Everything must go through administrative checks. Bagus asks prospective migrant workers to choose an officially registered PTKIS.

To reduce the number of victims of human trafficking, Bagus said that so far the agency has coordinated with the Indonesian Embassy and the central government. The agency has also conducted socialization on human trafficking to prospective migrant workers. He admitted that it is difficult to supervise naughty brokers. "They are smarter and the illegal process is fast paced," said Bagus. (Shinta Maharani)

Figures Talk about Human Trafficking Cases

Data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Indonesia for the period March 2005-December 2015

Province Total Victims Percentage
West Java 2.203 32,65%
Central Java 909 13,47%
West Kalimantan 733 10,86%
East Java 651 9,65%
East Nusa Tenggara 564 8,36%

Data from non-governmental organizations Legal Resources Center for Gender Justice and Human Rights or LRC-KJHAM Semarang

Year 2015 2016
Number of Cases 6 13

Data from the Central Java Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Agency for the period 2010-2015

Number of Cases Number of Victims Number of Perpetrators
49 158 31

This article was published on on November 22, 2016

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