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Migrant workers imprisoned in Malaysia for illegal stay

The seven men were taken on tourist visas by agents

March 03, 2019 07:08 am | Updated 07:08 am IST - NIZAMABAD

Relatives of migrant workers who are jailed in Malaysia, in Nizamabad.

Relatives of migrant workers who are jailed in Malaysia, in Nizamabad.

Seven persons who travelled to Malaysia in search of employment ended up in the country’s Senawang prison for unauthorised stay on unlawful visas. One and a half years after their landing in the country, they were taken into custody and remanded on February 22, according to the victims’ kin.

Belonging to Lingi tanda of erstwhile Muthukunta gram panchayat in Nizamabad mandal , Gaguloth Sarman, K. Ganga, M. Sankar, Seshu Rao, Santhose, Bhaskar and Sudhakar and five others had gone to Malaysia through one Makkala Sailu of the same village on August 5, 2017, for work in Uni Gloves Company at Negeri Sembilan Industrial Estate in Senawang city.

While the seven are now in jail, Kethavath Ravinder and four others who stayed with them were able to evade arrest and returned home after their families sent money for their tickets. “The five too were cheated by a person belonging to the district, in whose account money was remitted for tickets and their expenses,” said Vaskula Posetti, former sarpanch of the village.

Ignorance of visa laws

According to them, they were received by a company representative and lodged in a house in Senawang Municipal Council limits. After three months, their tourist visas expired but the company did not get them work visas. Mr. Ravi, a Telugu man, and Sooriyan, who were agents in Malaysia, disappeared soon after and did not respond to calls. Since then, they had been stranded in Malaysia without jobs and money even for daily expenses.

Agreed to terms

The job seekers paid ₹60,000 each to the agent, who reportedly told them he was sending them on visit visas valid for three months and that they could get jobs once they reached Malaysia. He also made it clear to them that in those three months if they got work visas they could continue the jobs and legally stay on. The semi-literate workers agreed to those terms and paid up.

“So, the victims’ families could not blame the agent and were silent over filing a criminal case against him,” said Mr. Posetti.

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