Police have rescued 18 foreigners who have not been paid three months' worth of wages at a vegetable processing and packing factory in Kampung Kepayang of Malaysia.
Perak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Asst Comm Yahya Abd Rahman said the foreign workers, 12 from Bangladesh and six from Myanmar, aged between 20s and 40s, were rescued during a raid on Tuesday (Aug 28) at about 9.15am, according to The Star Online report.
SAC Yahya said the police also arrested three women, in their 20s and 40s, here and in Cameron Highlands. "All three are related, and one of them is the factory owner."
"They confessed to managing the workers," he said, adding that the packed vegetables were meant to be distributed to supermarkets there.
"The factory owner also failed to show any legal documents or work permits for the workers," he said.
"We also found a fake rifle, containing white pellets, believed to be bullets," he added.
According to SAC Yahya, one worker said they were forced to work daily from 8am to midnight without off days. "They are supposed to be paid RM32 daily. If they want an off day, their employer will deduct three days' worth of wages, about RM96, from their salary.
"They would only be paid if they wished to work elsewhere or return to their home country," he said.
SAC Yahya said the case would be investigated under Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act and Section 55B of the Immigration Act for allowing foreign workers to work without permit.
"The women will also be investigated under Section 36 of the Firearms Act for possessing a fake firearm," he said, adding that the police would continue with its efforts to locate and combat any form of illegal trafficking and smuggling of humans.