Couple, nephew among 8 held after reports of sodomy, abuse at children’s home

Children at the welfare home in Gombak claim they had been sodomised and abused for years.

PETALING JAYA: A couple in charge of a welfare home in Gombak were among eight people arrested last night after allegations of sodomy, child abuse and exploitation at the centre.

The eight, including the couple’s nephew, will be remanded for four days to assist investigations.

FMT reported last week claims by children at the home that the couple’s nephew had sodomised them for years.

“He (the nephew) was among those arrested at 8 last night. The investigations are still at an early stage, so I cannot reveal too much,” Gombak district police chief Arifai Tarawe told FMT.

“They will be remanded until Sunday.”

The couple in charge of the home for children from underprivileged families were brought in for questioning by the police on May 5. All of the centre’s 36 children have been questioned as well.

Last week, a woman who previously stayed at the home for 10 days told FMT the children confided in her that they had been sodomised for the last few years.

They also told her they were forced to work for 15 hours each day, doing chores such as packaging anchovies for sale or folding ang pows (red packets). She said they were caned by the couple if they did not complete their tasks on time.

The woman, who said she had witnessed the abuse herself, lodged a report at the district police headquarters on May 5.

When FMT spoke with the couple on May 5, they said the sodomy allegations were “an old issue” that had already been investigated by the police and the Welfare Department (JKM).

They also claimed it was “not possible” that their nephew, who helped them look after the children, had committed such acts.

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