The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) informed that 75% to 80% of the Sri Lankan maids working in Kuwait who had been repatriated, had not registered themselves at the SLBFE.

Working Director of SLBFE, Upul Deshapriya said that the bogus foreign employment agencies, their owners, sub agents employed in them, and the human trafficking rackets they were engaged in, constituted a mafia in the country.

Every day the SLBFE conducts raids and arrests at least one individual involved in these rackets, he added.

Recently, a group of migrant workers including maids (less than 200) who were working in countries in the Middle East like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, had returned to Sri Lanka on two consecutive days, citing expiration of visas, leaving employment, facing abuse (including assault) and harassment at the hands of the employers, and the non-payment of wages by employers.

“The truth is that the majority have not registered with us. The Director Board of the SLBFE along with the Ministry took a decision that we will not take any responsibility for those who go for work overseas without registering with us and end up falling in trouble. Such persons are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.