Investigations ongoing after slave ship stopped in PNG

8:09 pm on 5 August 2015

A ship detained in Papua New Guinea for its alleged role in a human trafficking ring has been escorted to Port Moresby for further investigation.

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The Blissful Reefer has been detained in Port Moresby Photo: marinetraffic.com

At least eight fishermen are in the process of being repatriated to Myanmar and Cambodia after they were found to have been kept in slave-like conditions on board the Blissful Reefer.

The International Organisation for Migration says it is interviewing 19 other crew members.

Its chief of mission in PNG, George Gigauri, says the ship has been detained in PNG government custody and a full investigation is underway.

"The Blissful Reefer was escorted with a Navy patrol boat to Port Moresby and currently the government is conducting an investigation and depending on the outcome of that investigation the fate of the ship will be determined."

George Gigauri says the Blissful Reefer is part of a wider trafficking ring operating in South East Asia, with Indonesian authorities also liberating hundreds of exploited workers.

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