PHOTOS: Associated Press: Modern day slaves fuel global fish mar - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

PHOTOS: Associated Press: Modern day slaves fuel global fish market

Posted: Updated:
(KHQ.COM)-  A year long investigation by the Associated Press has found a link between modern-day slaves in Indonesia and supply chains of seafood reaching the American market.  The AP talked to slaves trapped in a remote fishing villages who described working 20 to 22-hour shifts and said they were paid little or nothing.

Almost all said they were kicked, beaten, or whipped with toxic stingray tails if they complained or tried to rest. Some men were even held in cramped cages to prevent them from escaping.   Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with slave-caught seafood that clouds the supply networks of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States.

The small harbor is occupied by Pusaka Benjina Resources, whose office compound stands out and includes the cage with the slaves. The company is the only fishing operation on the Indonesian island village of Benjina and is listed as the owner of more than 90 trawlers. However, the captains are Thai, and the Indonesian government is reviewing information to see if the boats are really Thai-owned.

The AP interviewed slaves from a dozen small fishing vessels offloading their catch in Benjina into a single, large refrigerated cargo ship called The Silver Sea Line, which says it is only a transport ship and not involved with the fishermen.  AP reporters followed that ship, using satellite tracking over 15 days to Samut Sakhon, Thailand, where journalists watched as workers packed the seafood over four nights onto more than 150 trucks.

The AP also followed a truck to Niwat Co., where part owner Prasert Luangsomboon said the company sells to Thai Union Manufacturing. The company is a subsidiary of Thai Union Frozen products, Thailand's largest seafood corporation, with more than $3 billion in annual sales. Thai Union says its direct clients include Wal-mart, and ships thousands of cans of cat food to the U.S. every month, including household brands like Fancy Feast, Meow Mix and Iams.

One former slave said that many supervisors on ships simply tossed the bodies of dead workers into the sea to be devoured by sharks.  American retailers have disputed the claims and tried to ensure fish they sell is not tainted by slave labor.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Friday, October 19 2018 1:04 AM EDT2018-10-19 05:04:39 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>
  • Explosive device that caused CdA evacuations rendered safe

    Explosive device that caused CdA evacuations rendered safe

    Friday, October 19 2018 6:51 PM EDT2018-10-19 22:51:23 GMT

    Ramsey Elementary and Coeur d' Alene Police station have been evacuated after an explosive device was brought to the station for disposal. Police have called in a bomb squad to dispose of the device and evacuated the buildings as a precaution. Coeur d' Alene School District released the following statement regarding the situation: 

    >>

    Ramsey Elementary and Coeur d' Alene Police station have been evacuated after an explosive device was brought to the station for disposal. Police have called in a bomb squad to dispose of the device and evacuated the buildings as a precaution. Coeur d' Alene School District released the following statement regarding the situation: 

    >>
  • K9 Laslo passes away

    K9 Laslo passes away

    Friday, October 19 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-10-20 02:50:33 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After struggling with medical issues recently, retired Spokane County Sheriff's Office K9 Laslo passed away early Friday morning.  "It is with the most heavy heart that I tell you K9 Laslo passed away this morning at 0115hrs," a post on Laslo's Facebook page said Friday morning. "There will be a piece of my heart always missing. To the best partner I ever had, R.I.P." 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After struggling with medical issues recently, retired Spokane County Sheriff's Office K9 Laslo passed away early Friday morning.  "It is with the most heavy heart that I tell you K9 Laslo passed away this morning at 0115hrs," a post on Laslo's Facebook page said Friday morning. "There will be a piece of my heart always missing. To the best partner I ever had, R.I.P." 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • Actor Bruce Willis sells central Idaho ranch for $5.5M

    Thursday, October 18 2018 10:26 AM EDT2018-10-18 14:26:38 GMT
    realtor.comrealtor.com

    HAILEY, Idaho - Actor Bruce Willis has sold his 20-acre (8-hectare) ranch in central Idaho for $5.5 million. KTVB-TV reports in a story on Wednesday that's far below the original asking price of $15 million when the home was put up for sale in 2011. Travis Jones is a listing agent with Engel & Volkers Sun Valley who took over the job of selling the home in the small town of Hailey two years ago. 

    >>

    HAILEY, Idaho - Actor Bruce Willis has sold his 20-acre (8-hectare) ranch in central Idaho for $5.5 million. KTVB-TV reports in a story on Wednesday that's far below the original asking price of $15 million when the home was put up for sale in 2011. Travis Jones is a listing agent with Engel & Volkers Sun Valley who took over the job of selling the home in the small town of Hailey two years ago. 

    >>
  • Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:58 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:58:21 GMT

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    >>

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    >>
  • ESPN College Gameday location in Pullman set

    ESPN College Gameday location in Pullman set

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 10:23 AM EDT2018-10-16 14:23:13 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - If you're planning on traveling to Pullman this Saturday to take part in the ESPN College Gameday festivities and are wondering where they will be broadcasting from, look for the giant crowd by the stadium with all of the ESPN College Gameday logos.  If you're the kind of person who likes exact intersections, then head to the corner of Stadium Way and Ferdinad's Lane. 

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - If you're planning on traveling to Pullman this Saturday to take part in the ESPN College Gameday festivities and are wondering where they will be broadcasting from, look for the giant crowd by the stadium with all of the ESPN College Gameday logos.  If you're the kind of person who likes exact intersections, then head to the corner of Stadium Way and Ferdinad's Lane. 

    >>