The former farm supervisor was accused of exploiting a family of five as forced labour

SEREMBAN: A former farm supervisor was today charged in the Seremban Sessions Court here on five charges of trafficking five individuals for the purpose of forced labor exploitation.

The accused, L. Jaya Seelan, 51, however pleaded not guilty after all the charges were read out in Tamil in front of Judge Datin Surita Budin.

The accused allegedly trafficked the victim, S. Veerasamy, 46, and his wife, A. Rajeswari, 39, and their two children, V. Shasikala, 19, and V. Anbarasi, 22, and son-in-law, P. Aridasan, 30, who are not a child for the purpose of exploitation as forced farm labor to settle debts.

The offense was allegedly committed by the accused in a palm oil plantation, in Rompin, Jempol, Negeri Sembilan between 2008 and November 2021.

Accordingly, he was charged with committing an offense under Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 which is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 15 years and may be fined if convicted.

The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor, Hafizah Zainul Hashimi while the accused was represented by lawyer, M. Gobinathan.

The judge then set bail of RM5,000 for each charge with one surety along with the additional condition of having to report to the nearest police station once every month.

In addition, the court ordered the accused not to disturb the victim and any prosecution witness until the case is over. The case will be mentioned again next February 13.

It is understood that all the victims are now placed in separate shelters in Melaka, Johor and Negeri Sembilan.

Yesterday, Jempol District Police Chief, Superintendent Hoo Chang Hook in a statement informed that a police report was made by a man on 17 November 2021 who claimed that he and his family were beaten and forced to work and were not allowed by the employer to leave the farm area around Rompin , thumbs up.

On 26 March 2022, a police team from D3 Division ATIPSOM Bukit Aman rescued the victim and six other family members who were working on the farm.

Then the next day, a police team from the Criminal Investigation Department, Jempol District Police Headquarters (IPD) arrested a man who is a 51-year-old suspect for further investigation.

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