The Indonesian fisheries minister says a massive refrigerated cargo ship believed to be loaded with slave-caught fish has been seized by the navy and brought to shore after an Associated Press report alerted authorities about its presence in the country's waters.
The ship was close to leaving Indonesian waters by the time it was finally seized.
Thai-owned Silver Sea 2 was located late Wednesday and escorted about 80 miles (130 kilometers) to a naval base in Sabang on the Indonesian archipelago
's northwestern tip, said Col. Sujatmiko, the local naval chief.
Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said: "I'm so overwhelmed with happiness. It was almost impossible, but we did it."
The AP used a satellite beacon signal to trace its path from Papua New Guinea waters into neighboring Indonesia. The navy then spent a week trying to catch it.
The vessel is linked to an AP investigation earlier this year that uncovered a slave island in a remote part of Indonesia. Hundreds of men tricked and sold onto boats have since been rescued and repatriated.
The Silver Sea 2 is the same 2,285-ton vessel captured in a high-resolution satellite photo last month in Papua New Guinea showing its hold open and two fishing trawlers tethered to each side, loading fish.