KLANG: A man bearing the honorific title of Datuk was arrested following the home ministry’s discovery of his alleged exploitation of 172 local and foreign female workers.
They were allegedly forced to work overtime in a bird’s nest factory here.
The workers, comprising Indonesians, Myanmars and Malaysians, were said to be exploited by the man who forced them to work more than 16 hours daily without rest.
In an integrated operation, a team from the home ministry’s anti-trafficking in persons and anti-smuggling of migrants unit arrested the 29-year-old man at the factory here today.
Team leader DSP Hadzwan Zulkefle said the suspect was detained to facilitate investigations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, Immigration Act and Employment Act.
“Our investigations revealed the Datuk had exploited 172 women employees comprising locals, Indonesian and Myanmars to work for more than 16 hours daily without rest days.
“Some of the workers were not paid, some received their wages late and a few had their salaries deducted when they took sick leave or when the factory was closed, to be left with only RM200 to RM300.
“The factory has been operational since 2014 and an examination of the workers found they were suffering from mental torture due to daily overtime work with a few fainting due to fatigue,” he told reporters here.
Hadzwan said further investigations revealed that the passports of foreign workers were kept in the factory management office.
Some of their work permits had been abused as they had come to the country as domestic workers.
He said the workers, aged between 18 and 40, had worked at the factory for two to three years.
The integrated operation was carried out by Selangor police in the anti-vice, gaming and secret societies division, Bukit Aman police, Immigration, and Manpower departments.