JAKARTA: Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs will conduct inspections in several areas identified as 'hot spots' of human trafficking crimes on Wednesday (April 5), according to local media reports.

Its minister Mahfud MD said the smugglers' modus operandi was inhumane because they not only recruited the Indonesian migrant workers illegally and made them slaves, but those who fell sick on the way were abandoned at sea in boats.

Hence, surveillance continues to be strengthened and law enforcement and monitoring are being tightened to ensure the same crime does not recur.

Mahfud also did not rule out the possibility that smugglers also deliberately sank boats carrying migrant workers as reported by the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency (BP2MI) head, Benny Rhamdani.

BP2MI's investigation found that one of the four boats used by smugglers was sunk in the waters of Johor, Malaysia on Dec 15, 2021 to conceal it from the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, he was quoted as saying by local media on Friday.

The sinking of a boat carrying about 50 illegal immigrants in Tanjung Balau, Kota Tinggi left 21 people dead and 16 missing, while 13 were rescued in a five-day Operation Carilamat carried out by the Malaysian authorities. -Bernama