‘Self-registration facility’ temporarily suspended

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has temporarily suspended the ‘Self-registration facility’ for female labourers for domestic and unskilled job categories in Oman and the UAE with effect from yesterday, said SLBFE General Manager D.D.P. Senanayake. However, he said this temporary suspension will not be effective on those who are registered through a foreign employment agency and also for those who possess re-entry visas.

Speaking to the media at the Department of Government Information yesterday, the General Manager said the SLBFE together with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have identified the racketeers involved in the trafficking of Sri Lankan women in the guise of the foreign job opportunities in Oman and are conducting islandwide raids to arrest them.

Currently, there are 77 women in the safe house of the embassy and 65 of them are victims of this racket, who had left for Oman job opportunities using visit visas.

“Although we are not bound to provide protection to those who have reached Oman through illegal means, we have accommodated these women in the safe house considering their helplessness,” he added.

“Oman is a friendly nation of Sri Lanka, which has provided over 19,000 jobs for Sri Lankans. So far in this year, a total of 10,052 have left for job opportunities in Oman and 5,111 of them are as housemaids,” the General Manager pointed out.

SLBFE Investigation Officer Kapila Karunaratne said that his unit has raided 25 places and arrested 69 individuals for operating such rackets from different areas of the country within this year. In addition, the licenses of 17 registered agencies have also been cancelled. In November alone, the SLBFE raided five agencies which do not possess valid licenses and 14 individuals for promoting foreign job offers via social media. More investigations will be carried out to raid such agencies and individuals, he said.

Police Media Spokesman, Attorney-at-Law SSP Nihal Thalduwa said the Police have arrested two suspects in connection with such rackets while investigations are being carried out on several other foreign employment agencies which are suspected to have involved this racket.

He requested those who are expecting to leave for foreign job opportunities to follow the legally accepted paths to fulfil their requirement and thereby prevent possible risks and legal action against them.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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