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News reports in Malaysia are saying that a rogue employment agency in the eastern town of Klang has deceived over 100 foreign workers, mainly women, by not paying them their proper salaries. The workers were also “locked up” and abused, Malay Mail reports.
The workers were promised full-time jobs and work permits but the agency failed to keep its promises. Some foreign workers also claimed to have been abused and were forced to eat paper!
After a tip-off, the premises of the agency were raided and the workers were rescued, the majority of whom came from Indonesia. 14 people associated with the agency were arrested.
The Selangor Immigration department said the women were forced to work long hours and did not possess valid working visas.
Director of the department, Amran Ahmad, said: “The agency must get their clients a work permit first before bringing them here. Some of the women rescued have been here for only two days, while most have been here for six months. We believe there could be more women who have been cheated by this agency. Investigations are underway to locate them.”
Although investigations have shown that the agency, which has not been identified, had a licence to operate, it had abused it powers. The owner of the agency is currently being tracked down.
One anonymous victim described the appalling working conditions to the newspaper. “We are locked up here, the supervisor would pick me up and drop me at a clothing factory where I have to work 15 hours there. When I complained they threatened to throw me in the ocean.”