Aug 06, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) during the first seven months of this year has filed 163 cases against foreign employment agencies and persons who tried to send workers overseas illegally and defrauded them, Deputy Minister of Foreign Employment Services Manusha Nanayakkara said.
Deputy Minister Nanayakkara said that there is no pardon for those who violate foreign employment laws.
He said the Sri Lankan government is taking forward the program to curb illegal human smuggling and strict legal action will be taken against those who send illegal migrants abroad and those who abetting them.
The Deputy Minister said that he would never hesitate to take measures against any government officers who are supporting the racketeers.
Among the prosecuted institutions are legally licensed employment agencies as well as agencies with no valid licenses.
This year, the highest number of cases filed in the courts was filed against an employment agency that defrauded people claiming to get jobs in Seychelles. According to the minister, 135 cases have been filed at the Mahara Magistrate court against this agency.
Nineteen cases have been filed against an institution which defrauded more than Rs. 50 million from 19 people exceeding the government approved charges to provide jobs in Israel.
Another case has been filed against a woman managed an illegal employment agency in Hambantota for defrauding 17 people more than Rs. 120 million promising fisheries jobs in Somalia Land island of Somalia.
The Deputy Minister said the number of complaints received by the Bureau of Foreign Employment regarding the illegal foreign employment agencies and individuals has risen and requested the people to inform the Bureau if they are aware of such illegal institutions.
In 2015, 93 cases have been filed and i79 cases were filed in 2016 while in 2017 the number has gone up to 248, according to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Employment.