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Burmese fisherman Myint Naing was tricked as a young man into slavery on a Thai fishing boat in Indonesia, and spent the next 22 years out at sea or hiding in the jungle. Throughout his odyssey, what kept him alive was the hope of going home -- and of seeing his mother's face again.

Myint is one of hundreds of enslaved fishermen rescued and returned home by the Indonesian government after a year-long Associated Press investigation exposed extreme labor abuses in Southeast Asia's seafood industry. The investigation documented how slave-caught fish from Thai boats in Indonesia can end up in the supply chains of major supermarkets and stores in the United States.

In a new report, AP has interviewed Myint, his family, his friends and other former slaves, and through following his journey from a makeshift camp set up for rescued men in Tual, Indonesia, to his home in Myanmar. His story is strikingly similar to those told by more than 340 current and former slaves interviewed by the AP in person or in writing. The package includes:

The main story by Margie Mason has moved in advance for use in print and online at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, at 3,200 words. An abridged version will follow Tuesday at 1,200 words.

Photos have moved in advance with the main story for use in print and online at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1. More photos will be sent out with the abridged version on Tuesday.

Online and APTN video will move on Tuesday, June 30.

An interactive on Myint's journey will be available by Wednesday, July 1. A graphic locator map will also be published with the story.

The AP commends this package to your attention.

Please direct editorial questions to International Enterprise Editor Mary Rajkumar, 347-522-1848, or For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact or call 877-836-9477.

Updated : 2021-09-20 02:11 GMT+08:00