Taiwanese fishing vessel captain indicted
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors' Office has indicted the Taiwanese captain and first mate of a fishing vessel and 7 others on charges of human trafficking, coercion and forgery.
The Vanuatu-flagged vessel "Da-wang" was twice reported by Greenpeace as engaged in "seagoing slavery" and "coerced labor" in 2019 and 2021, resulting in the US Customs and Border Protection's banning Da-wang from mooring at any US port.
The indictment says today that the captain of Da-wang, owned by a Kaohsiung-based company, physically abused 20-plus Indonesian and Philippine crew while fishing in the south Pacific.
It says the captain also made the crew members work 14 to 20 hours a day and ignored the Muslim fishermen's religious practice of not eating pork.
One of the fishermen died onboard after being hit by the first mate, but as the boat was in Fiji at the time, the local court did not hold him accountable.
Kaohsiung authorities have also prosecuted the owner of "Da-wang" and the agency of migrant workers.