Mar 19, Colombo: Malaysian police in Sibu have rescued two Sri Lankan engineers last Saturday after they were allegedly tricked into forced labor 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, official Bernama news agency reported.
They had signed an agreement with the agent, paying Rs. 325,000 each to get the jobs.
According to the report, the two Sri Lankans have arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8, at 11pm and left for Kuching, Sarawak, at 5.10 am 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 8.30 am on March 10.
Upon arrival in Sibu at 2.30 pm, 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 laborers and not allowed to leave the workplace.
On March 17, the two managed to escape their captors and took a taxi to the Sentral police station at 4.40 pm.
Sibu district police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit, confirming the case said that their 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 5.30 pm yesterday to help in the investigations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.