Monday, 3 December 2012

105 maids held captive in Klang agency

Immigration Department officers made a shocking find at a maid agency in Bandar Baru Klang 105 foreign women were found held captive in a four-storey building.

Besides being treated roughly, some of the women claimed that their food was rationed by the agency and that they were even forced to eat paper as punishment if they tried to ask for their salaries.

A raiding party led by Selangor Immigration deputy assistant director M. Chandran rescued the women, aged between 18 and 25, locked on three floors of the four-storey building, occupied by the maid agency.

State department director Amran Ahmad said the agency had been operating on a licence for five years but the women they hired did not possess valid working permits.

Some of the women claimed they also did not receive their monthly wages of RM700 as promised, as the agency told them a seven months advance payment was necessary for the women to work in Malaysia.

“All the women were sent by van every morning to houses around Klang to work as maids and would be confined in the building after work.

“Based on investigations, the women who were rescued were believed to have been deceived to be domestic helpers on a monthly and daily basis, but did not receive their pay even after six months of work,” Amran was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Amran said the department was looking for a local man, who is the owner of the maid agency, to assist in the investigation.

He said 12 people were arrested during the raid at 7.45am on Saturday.

Three of them were local men believed to be the agency employees, while the other nine were foreign women supervisors, comprising five Indonesians, three Cambodians and one Filipino.

They are being held under Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670) and could face up to a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine upon conviction.

Among those rescued were 95 Indonesian nationals, six from the Phillipines, and four Cambodians who had entered the country on social visit passes between one and six months ago, Amran said.

Amran said the women were rescued under Section 44(1) of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670) and have been sent to a safe house before being sent back to their respective countries.


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