Four years ago, 16-year-old girl only identified as ‘S’ dreamed of being a make-up artist. Being young and naive, the girl from Ipoh became the victim of a pub owner’s lies, reports The Star.
He told her that his business was in the beauty products industry and he could help her get enrolled for make-up courses in the city.
However, when the innocent S arrived, she discovered that she had to work in his pub serving beer and accompanying patrons of the pub. She was placed in a hostel that the pub owner provided for her and 10 other girls, who were similarly conned into working for him. Worse, they were NOT paid for their work!
“For years, we worked for him without any wages. We only got money from tips from customers.”
Naturally, S wanted to quit but the man threatened her with threats to her family and by saying that they had a two-year agreement which would require S to compensate him with hundreds of thousands of dollars if she wanted to leave before the stipulated time was up.
When S tried to leave at the end of the two years, he forced her to sign another agreement.
“He made me sign another agreement to work for a number of months. That went on until last month. When I finally decided that I had enough and wanted to leave, the owner threatened to hurt me and my family.
“I was also slapped in the face by an unknown man and was warned by the owner. I finally followed my brother home and lodged a police report.”
After reporting to the police, she was part of a press conference organised by Perak Barisan Nasional Public Service and Complaints Centre chief Mohd Rawi Abdullah to highlight this issue.
Mohd Rawi states that he will assist S to obtain her necessary wages through the years from the Labour Department. He will also contact the Inspector-General of police to investigate such cases as this was not the first time he had came across such an incident.
Often, these con men would target young and innocent girls from new villages as they were poor and naive.
So girls, be careful who you believe and be street smart!