High pay among promises made by a human trafficking syndicate

High pay among promises made by a human trafficking syndicate

KUALA LUMPUR: They are promised employment with high pay but in reality they are being confined and lured into forced labour and prostitution.

This tactic is not new to the syndicate of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in search for a victim, especially those living in poverty because people who are desperate to change their fortunes are easily manipulated and victimised.

According to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Unit of the Bukit Aman CID, the most being rescued this year were Vietnamese nationals with 384 people, followed by people from Indonesia (234), Thailand (227), Bangladesh (71), China (60 ) and other countries (123).

What is more shocking is that Malaysians were also among the victims of human trafficking syndicates when 54 people were rescued this year.

Bukit Aman ATIPSOM D3 assistant principal director SAC Fadil Marsus said for migrants, some were smuggled into the country and some were recruited in their home countries and brought in using social visit passes.

Most of the victims of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants were between the ages of 16 and 30s.

“This group is considered ‘vulnerable’, they have always been the target of syndicates because of life pressure.

“Some have come legally and voluntarily, but before they enter this country, the syndicate will approach them and promise employment opportunities with lucrative salaries,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview recently.

Fadil said the modus of operandi of the syndicates was to recruit foreigners in their home countries and then the local syndicate would smuggle them in for a fee.

“There were victims who were brought in using social visit passes, then offered jobs but ended up being exploited and the victims became forced labourers and their pay being taken to pay for the transportation cost.

Unfortunately, he said, there were cases where the victims of the syndicate were locked up together before being forced to do their work.

“Male foreigners are often exploited into forced labour, while women are forced into sex slavery. Their salaries will be kept and they would not be allowed to contact their families at home,” he said.

From January to Nov 30, the ATIPSOM Unit had investigated 264 cases involving trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants compared to 281 cases last year, he said.

“A total of 194 cases this year involved sexual exploitation, forced labour (67) and sale of infants (three). We have detained 353 employers and syndicate members as well as rescued 1,153 victims comprising 1,123 women and 30 men,” he said.

Fadil said smuggling of migrants and exploitation involving locals or foreigners was an offence in the country and if found guilty, the syndicate or employer could face a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a fine.


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