In this Sept. 8, 2015 photo, Burmese fisherman Myat Ko Ko Lay is congratulated by others as he leaves the port town of Ambon, Maluku province, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
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Dozens of Burmese men in the bustling port town of Ambon were the latest to go home, some more than a decade after being trafficked onto Thai trawlers.In response, a multimillion-dollar Thai-Indonesian fishing business has been shut down, at least nine people have been arrested and two fishing cargo vessels have been seized.The tally includes eight fishermen trafficked aboard a Thai cargo ship seized in neighboring Papua New Guinea.And those returnee figures don't tell the whole story: Hundreds more have been quietly sent home by their companies, avoiding human trafficking allegations.An AP survey of almost 400 men underscores the horrific conditions fishing slaves faced.Managing partner Francisco Pinto told the AP his company had once rented out Mabiru's facilities in Ambon, bought tuna from private artisanal fishermen, and hired its own workers for filleting and processing fish. Pinto said he has spent the past six weeks in Indonesia meeting and observing fish suppliers because American customers are increasingly demanding fair treatment for workers.In the past month, three separate class-action lawsuits have been filed naming Mars Inc., IAMS Co., Proctor & Gamble, Nestle USA Inc., Nestle Purina Petcare Co. and Costco, accusing them of having seafood supply chains tainted with slave labor.
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