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Safety fears for illegal worker in Malaysia

A WOMAN from Kampot province said yesterday that she has filed complaints with police and rights groups after receiving a phone call from her 20-year-old sister who claims she is being physically abused by a 70-year-old employer while working illegally as a domestic aid in Malaysia.

Tep Sophy said she had appealed to provincial and immigration police as well as rights groups Licadho and Adhoc to intervene after talking with her distraught sister, Ly Soben, on Sunday.

“I am very concerned about my sister’s situation,” she said, adding that she had heard horror stories of other young domestic workers being abused abroad, one of whom died.

“This makes me so worried about my sister and I rushed to seek an intervention,” she said.

As well as asking officials to help repatriate her sister, Tep Sophy said she plans to sue a Phnom Penh-based broker who she claims was responsible for sending Ly Soben to work abroad illegally through an unlicensed broker.

Tep Neang, provincial deputy police chief, said he had received a complaint from Tep Sophy on Tuesday morning.

“We will cooperate with the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection police to investigate the case,” he said, adding that authorities would decide whether it was necessary to involve Malaysian officials after first attempting to verify Tep Sophy’s allegations.

“This is just what she claimed,” he said. “We did not totally believe her because we did not meet the victim.”

Ngeth Soseng, provincial Licadho coordinator, said Tep Sophy had reported the case to her office on Monday, and that she had spoken briefly with the alleged victim by phone before the line was cut.

“I managed to speak with her just in short. She sounds piteous,” she said.

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