Lanka expat held for assaulting compatriot maids

The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB), with police assistance, has arrested a Sri Lankan expatriate living in Saudi Arabia, for beating fellow nationals seeking work in the Gulf kingdom as housemaids, shortly after his arrival home on annual vacation, the ‘Colombo Gazette’ reported on Sunday.

When the amateur footage of the incident was screened on several television channels, the man was shown assaulting Sri Lankan maids in a room in a 'safe house' in Saudi Arabia.

Deputy General Manager of SLBFE Mangala Randeniya told Arab News from Colombo that he was a sub-agent in Saudi Arabia.

“As the incident happened in Saudi Arabia, the SLFBE is consulting with the Attorney General on the charges that can be levelled against him,” he said.

He added that the legal department of SLFBE is also monitoring the situation.

Randeniya said the man was found beating and kicking housemaids kept in detention by Saudi agents, before they were sent to various sponsors in the kingdom.

The housemaids were assaulted because they did not want to go to houses chosen by the local agent.

Saudi job agents are obtaining visas for domestic help under the now banned “court wakala” system to recruit women and then detain them in a safe house before being sent to their employers.


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