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Human trafficking: Four held
Published on: Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Police rescued four human trafficking victims and arrested four suspects in two Op Pintas raids, said City Police Chief ACP M. Chandra.

He said acting on information, police raided an entertainment centre at CyberCity, Jalan Lintas, at around 2am on Feb. 7. Chandra said the entertainment centre was operating overtime and did not have business licence as well as employed foreign workers illegally.

He said a deejay, a premise operator and three teenage girls aged 15 to 18 were detained during the raid and police also seized a PA system as well as musical equipment.

"Investigations found that the three teenage girls were exploited for sex by certain individuals and acting on the information, police raided a house in Putatan the same day.

"A 22-year-old Kadazan woman and a 32-year-old Bugis man, believed to be pimps, were arrested along with a 16-year-old boy believe to be another victim of sexual exploitation. Police also seized a pair of handcuffs and a van during the raid," he said.

Chandra said interrogation on the four teenagers found that they had first contacted the couple on the WeChat application before meeting them in person. The couple, he said, had offered them to work as restaurant workers in Lahad Datu.

However, when the four arrived there, they were exploited for sex and forced to work at entertainment centres, instead.

He said the victims attempted to escape from the couple's grasp before but were caught and locked up.

Chandra said one of them claimed to have been handcuffed and some were also assaulted by the couple.

"The three girls were sent to a protection centre in Negeri Sembilan while the boy was sent to a protection centre in Johor.

"We will do a follow-up investigation to identify and rescue other victims who have been exploited by the couple," he said.

The case will be investigated under four sections, the first being Section 14 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.

As for the second, it is Section 4 of the Public Entertainment Ordinance 1958 while the other two sections are Section 6 (1) (C) and 55B of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Chandra reminded parents to monitor their children's activities to ensure that their children are not exploited for any untoward reasons. He urged parents or victims to inform police of such activities so they can take early action. - Jegathisan Sivanesan

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