Monday, May 20, 2024

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Illegal foreign employment racket of a language academy busted   

Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) has busted an illegal foreign employment racket being carried out under the guise of conducting Japanese language classes, official sources said. 

According to the Information Department, investigation officers of the bureau have been able to uncover the racket with the apprehension of the main brain, a female fraudster, a resident of Kurunegala.

She was operating an illicit institution named “Venush Language Academy at Malkaduwawa in Kurunegala at the time of her arrest by the investigation officers of SLFEB in a subsequent raid on tip off received by them.

This suspect, a Japanese language academy owner who had allegedly defrauded people a large number of to the tune of millions of rupees  promising non-existent jobs in Japan and Canada was arrested by officers of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Special Investigation unit.

Following the arrest of the suspect a large number of people who had been taken for a ride by her have started to visit the Bureau and lodge individual complaints.

The authorities disclosed that they have also seized a s ock of copies of passports, documents of receipts of money as promissory notes to provide foreign employment in Canada and several other documents. 

24 cases of foreign employment frauds have been filed against this suspect at the Kurunagala Magistrates Court and these cases are still pending, the Information Department claimed. 

THE Kurunegala magistrate court has released the suspect on bail on two personnel bails of Rs 200000 each. Further investigations are continuing.

 While economic disparities, the lack of opportunity paired with the lack of equitable social and economic policies are the push factors for most men and women that opt for migrant employment, modern slavery, forced labour, and human trafficking are global phenomena that developing countries such as Sri Lanka and even developed countries still seem to be grappling with. 

Many people are deceived by traffickers and are misled to believe that they are being offered bigger and better opportunities overseas. 

The Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) revealed that unlicensed foreign employment agencies run a network that fraudulently uses the “Visit Visa” process to send Sri Lankan women for migrant employment illegally.

The human smugglers pay a hefty sum in bribes to the official in the airport premises, including officials of the Foreign Employment Bureau for every female that is sent for migrant work abroad illegally,”a  senior official of the  bureau said. . 

He went on to explain that the “re-entry” method is the other tactic which unlicensed foreign employment agencies use to smuggle Sri Lankan women abroad to be employed as domestic aides. The number of women who have been sent overseas using this method is inestimable. 

“New passports are being forged and registered with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, so as to be able to evade government regulations. 

“They not only use rubber stamps of government institutions of the country for forging fake documents, but they also use stamps of other foreign countries in the process of forging these passports,”he added. . 

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