KOTA KINABALU – A reflexology centre owner will soon be called by police to have his statement recorded after 16 foreigners were rescued from his premise recently in Kampung Air.
City police chief, Asst Comm M. Chandra said they will be questioning the owner as the 15 women and a man were found to have been working under exploitation for the past six months.
Some 15 of them are from China while the other is a Filipina. They came here to work as masseuses but were also told to provide sexual services for a fee, ACP Chandra said during a press conference here Tuesday.
ACP Chandra said the victims worked as masseuses among for up to 12 hours a day and forced to stay in their rooms for the remaining hours.
“They were not locked up but neither were they allowed to go out of the rooms. Their passports were also withheld by the owner,” he said.
Initial investigations showed that the victims were promised a job as a masseuse earning RM1,200 a month, but with a RM400 monthly deduction to repay the initial permit and other fees incurred for their employment.
“But when they reached here, they found out the true situation and they only got RM400 a month after various deductions,” ACP Chandra explained.
“Although they were not forced to give sexual services to custimers but they were requested to do so although this was not mentioned in their job scope when they were first hired.”
The victims are now placed at a shelter home pending investigations.
A 44-year-old caretaker was also arrested following the raid at about 1.30am on Sept 23.
“We will continue to raid massage parlours and reflexology centres to curb this scourge,” ACP Chandra said, adding that police will be working with the City Hall and Immigrations Department on this.
Those found exploiting workers will have their licenses revoked and we will request for the Immigration Department to blacklist these offenders from hiring foreigners in future.
He added that out of the 137 reflexology centres in the State capital, some 10 operators were suspected to be exploiting their workers.