IOM believes PNG bust linked to trafficking ring

The International Organisation for Migration believes a ship impounded in Papua New Guinea last week with at least eight slave labourers on board is connected to a wider trafficking ring.

The Thai-owned refrigerator ship Blissful Reefer has been impounded by PNG authorities in Daru -- eight fishermen have so far been rescued, with 19 other crew members still to be questioned.

The chief of mission for the IOM in PNG, George Gigauri, says the rescued men were part of a larger group of forced labourers to be distributed to various fishing boats.

He says PNG authorities are searching for other similar vessels believed to be in its waters.

Mr Gigauri says the Blissful Reefer appears to be part of a wider trafficking ring.

"Well let's put it this way, everything certainly seems to be pointing that way. I know that the government of PNG is cooperating with the Indonesian government as well as various other governments."

George Gigauri says the international community needs to do more to stop the worldwide problem of human trafficking and exploitation in the fisheries industry.