2 Sri Lankan engineers duped into forced labour in Malaysia

AFP pic.

SIBU: Police rescued two Sri Lankan nationals who hold engineering degrees last Saturday after they were allegedly tricked by an employment agency.

Madusanka Perera Edirisinghe and Dushan Kavinda De Silva, both 21, were promised jobs as ship engineers in Malaysia by an agent in Sri Lanka.

They signed an agreement with the agent, paying 325,000 Sri Lankan rupees (about RM8,000) each to get the jobs.

On March 8, at 11pm, they arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport before leaving for Kuching, Sarawak, at 5.10am the next day.

There, they were greeted by two Indian nationals who had been sent by an agent and forced to surrender their passports before they were taken to Sibu on an express boat at 8.30am on March 10.

Upon arrival in Sibu at 2.30pm, they were greeted by an Indian national agent, aged 25, and taken in a car to a ship, which was docked in Sungai Rajang near Stabau.

They were then forced to work as labourers and not allowed to leave the workplace.

On March 17, the two managed to escape from their captors and took a taxi to the Sentral police station at 4.40pm.

Sibu district police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit, when contacted, confirmed the case.

“Our investigations found that the two victims had lodged a complaint on the matter with the Sri Lankan consulate on March 14.”

He said the two victims were now undergoing medical tests at a hospital and making preparations to be sent to a shelter home in Melaka on March 23 under an interim protection order (IPO).

The 25-year-old Indian agent was detained at 5.30pm yesterday to help in the investigations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.

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