Forced beggars rounded up by Ipoh police

IPOH, 8 June 2017: 

Victims of a forced labour syndicate here have been ordered to beg for more than 10 hours and will not be given food, if their daily collection was less than RM100.

Perak CID chief Datuk Gan Tian Kee said the claims were made by five Thai victims, aged between 18 and 28, who were rescued in an operation here.

He said initial investigations found all victims admitted to begging in Ipoh, especially at Ramadan bazaars, to collect donations for a mosque in Narathiwat, Thailand.

“The victims were paid RM20 each if they could collect RM100 in a day, otherwise they would not be given food.

“The victims have to beg from 6.30am to 5pm on a normal day and during Ramadan, it is from 6.30am to 7pm,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Gan said all victims were brought into the country by a 36-year-old Thai – man who was the caretaker – with another man known as Ustaz or Pok Teh via Padang Besar, Perlis and they had been in Ipoh for about 11 months.

Elaborating further, Gan said one of the victims was rescued in Gunung Rapat here at about 3.30pm.

“Police also confiscated various items from the victim’s sling bag including begging documents, mobile phone, RM60 in cash and 200 Thai Baht.”

Based on the information of the victim, he said police went to check a Ramadan bazaar in Taman Perpaduan Tambun and saw a man seeking donations.

“The man led police to raid a house in Lorong Sungai Choh , Taman Tanjung Damai, Tanjung Rambutan,  believed to be the living quarters of the victims and rescued four Thai men in a room.”

He said police also seized a Volvo car, RM924 in cash, five mobile phones, four donation collection note books, five passports as well as three sheets of receipts for Nurul Huda Mosque donation and that the Thai caretaker was arrested.

Gan said all victims were rescued under Section 44 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants 2007 while the suspect was investigated under Section 12 of the same Act.

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