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Embassy official involved in human trafficking to Oman apprehends at BIA

The third secretary of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman, E. Kushan has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department officers upon his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake.

The official in question has been accused of allegedly being involved in the human trafficking racket where Sri Lankan females seeking foreign employment as domestic workers had been sent to Oman on tourist visas and later used for sex trafficking.

Kushan arrived in Sri Lanka at around 3.57 a.m. this morning (Nov. 29) from Muscat, Oman’s port capital, according to Ada Derana correspondent at the BIA.

On Monday (November 28), the CID obtained an open warrant for his arrest.After the incident came to light, this embassy staffer was interdicted, and his diplomatic passport was revoked.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) recently disclosed that complaints against the currently suspended embassy official had been made since February this year, however, a decision on the matter had been delayed.

In the wake of over 90 Sri Lankan women smuggled to Oman by several employment agencies, the officer attached to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman who was alleged to have committed human trafficking in Oman has been interdicted and he has now been brought to Sri Lanka for investigations, official source said

It was revealed very recently that a large number of Sri Lankan women had left for Oman to find jobs with tourist visa and many of them have become victims of human trafficking.

They have been detained and used for prostitution, it was reported. Some of the women had entered Oman by crossing the borders from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing the case have identified that several foreign employment agencies operating in Colombo also have supported this human trafficking.

The Oman Embassy said the Sri Lankan victims were sheltered at the safehouse for which the expenses are borne by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). The Embassy provides welfare facilities to these female workers which includes medical assistance.

The Embassy has been continuously coordinating with the Omani authorities to facilitate early repatriation of these stranded migrant workers.

The Embassy has facilitated repatriation of over 240 female workers during this year and the Embassy said it has also sought the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assist such victims.

The Embassy encourages Sri Lankans who seek jobs in Oman to obtain their employment only through genuine channels.

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