BATU PAHAT: Three arowana fish farmers have been found guilty of forcing 12 Indonesians to work virtually as slaves.
The workers were all kept at a fish farm in Yong Peng, Johor and not allowed to leave the premises, not paid their salaries, not given holidays and not allowed to leave after their contract expired after two years.
Three fish farmers were each sentenced to five years' jail and also fined RM60,000 each for 12 counts of human trafficking.
Sessions Court judge Amran Jantan meted out the sentence on Sim Kai Chyuan, 35, Bang Lai Seng, 49, and a third businessman who is still at large, after he found them guilty of trafficking 12 Indonesians at their 5.2ha farm in Yong Peng.
The third person who is still at large is believed to be the owner of the fish pond.
All the accused were charged under Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 which was read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.
According to the charge sheet, the three men allegedly forcefully exploited the workers at the farm. All the 12 Indonesians were between 19 and 46 years old.
The case was prosecuted by the Immigration department's deputy public prosecutor Noridayu Md Kassim while the two accused were represented by lawyer Naizatul Zamrina Karizaman.