Earlier this week (27 Oct) a former politician who contested in GE14 was one of 11 individuals arrested under human trafficking charges in an operation carried out by PDRM Penang.
The former politician, who is also a Datuk, was reported to have opened a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Nibong Tebal which served as a front to force victims into doing hard labour.
13 victims were also saved by Penang police, all of whom were people seeking actual addiction treatment. Some of the victims’ families were paying the centre around RM1,200 to RM1,500 per month.
According to police, the victims were forced to work at various restaurants and car washes and received very little food, no compensation and no days off.
In addition to being frequently hit, the victims were also allegedly tied up to prevent them from running away. According to police reports, these rehabilitation centres had been operating for around two years.
As seen above, an official press release made by Penang’s chief of police explained how the operation was carried out in several raids of the aforementioned centres.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that this syndicate specifically targeted vulnerable individuals with drug and alcohol addictions.
Items confiscated by authorities included:
- 1 laptop
- several documents
- a framed picture of the organisation’s hierarchy
- a chocolate coloured rotan cane
- 9 cellphones
- 2 stretches of chains along with two sets of locks and keys
- 1 black PVC pipe
- 3 white steel nets
- the premise owners’ cards
- several clothes and
- two white steel connectors for a double decker bed
Currently, the case is being investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Act.