Police rescues six migrant workers from forced labour in anti-trafficking raid

Image: PDRM Malaysia
Image: PDRM Malaysia

During a raid in Kampung Sungai Udang in Klang on Tuesday, police said they freed six trafficking victims from forced labor. All of the victims were foreigners.

The police also detained four suspects, including a foreign couple as well as another man and woman. The suspects range in age from 38 to 43.

During the operation, twenty passports and RM13,600 (US$3,057) were seized.

According to a police statement, the six victims, who ranged in age from 24 to 44, were tricked by an employment agent into working excessive hours at a cement mill. 

Police said they had been lured from overseas with offers of well-paying jobs at the factory. 

“However, upon arriving, costs for travel and passports were deducted every month from their salaries and they were forced to work long hours to pay off this ‘debt’,” South Klang district police chief Cha Hoong Fong said.

“The agent had also confiscated their passports and, despite being promised work permits, they were forced to work without valid documents.”

Cha said the case is being investigated under Section 44 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007. He urged the public to report any such cases to the police.

Foreign workers constitute more than 30 percent of the Malaysian workforce. They typically migrate voluntarily—often through irregular channels—from Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Malaysia and, to a lesser extent, traffickers exploit victims from Malaysia abroad. The overwhelming majority of trafficked victims are among the estimated two million documented and an even greater number of undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia. 

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