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‘Police not acting on migrant reports’

 | August 13, 2012

NGO Tenaganita says no action has been taken by the police despite a dozen plus police reports lodged against a company providing migrant labour.

PETALING JAYA: Tenangita feels that the police are not acting on reports filed against a company providing immigrant labour and this has contributed to the rise in crime.

Its executive director Irene Fernandez said that a total of 12 cases have been filed against the chief executive officer Sirajul Amin of Akhwan Group of Companies.

“To date, there have been little or no progress on the police investigations, and the migrants who filed the police reports have yet to obtain their passports and work permits that are being held by the Akhwan Group.

“Through our follow-ups with the police on this case, we have not learned of any action taken by the police to address the threats and physical violence reported on by the migrant workers,” Fernandez said in a press statement today.

She added that the the police inaction is only fuelling public frustrations over the police force’s willpower to address these frightening incidences effectively.

She said this in relation to a series of police reports lodged against the company by migrant workers and Tenaganita.

In June, Tenaganita filed a case with the Commercial Crime Division at Bukit Aman and with the Immigration Department in Putrajaya against Akhwan Group and its CEO for fraud, making physical threats, and withholding passports of 61 migrant workers for the past eight months.

In the past one week, Tenaganita also came to know of a case involving a Bangladeshi worker, Abdul Alim Mizi, who had paid RM3850 to Akhwan Group in August 2011 to obtain a work permit.

‘Ripe for corruption’

Alim had enquired about the status of his permit 10 days ago, accompanied by a Bangladeshi tourist, Md Mahbub Mollik.

Mizi and Mollik reported that their enquiry was met with aggression by Sirajul Amin, who tore Mizi’s application receipt and threatened to physically harm them.

Mollik’s passport, watch, gold ring, US$1850 and RM1,040 in cash werer also taken away.

Following this, the duo lodged a report at the Puchong police station.The police inaction, however, has resulted in Mollik being unable to return to Bangladesh.

Based on this case, Fernandez questioned police inertia to act against the company.

“For almost eight months, the police have been made known of allegations of fraud and criminal behaviour demonstrated by individuals linked to this one company.

“Why then have the police not exercised their powers under the section 117 of the Penal Code which allows them to arrest a suspect for the purposes of investigation?” she asked.

Police inaction, according to Fernandez, allows agents to cheat, harm and threaten migrants whereas the migrants are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation.

“This is also a situation ripe for corruption, where migrants may be forced to pay enforcement officials to remain free from arrest, or to agents who demand more money to obtain work permits they should have produced in the first place,” she said.


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