Thirteen Indians who had been taken illegally to Myanmar by unscrupulous travel agents reached Tamil Nadu on Wednesday after being rescued from Myawaddy area in southeastern Myanmar’s Kayin state bordering Thailand, the government said.
“Another 13 Indian citizens have now been rescued, and reached Tamil Nadu today…we have been actively pursuing the case of Indians being trapped in fake job rackets in Myanmar. Thanks to the efforts of @IndiainMyanmar & @IndiainThailand, around 32 Indians had already been rescued,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
Myawaddy area is not fully under the control of the Myanmarese government and certain ethnic armed groups have influence over it.
“Some more Indian citizens have been rescued from their fake employers and are in custody of Myanmar authorities for illegal entry into that country,” Bagchi said, adding legal formalities have been initiated to get them repatriated at the earliest.
“Details of agents allegedly involved in this job racket have been shared with relevant authorities in various states in India for appropriate action,” Bagchi said.
“Instances of similar job rackets have also come to light in Laos and Cambodia. Our Embassies in Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Bangkok have been helping in repatriating people from there,” he added.
On July 5, the Indian mission issued an advisory, cautioning against unscrupulous elements offering jobs.
Meanwhile, the 13 Indians who reached Chennai on Wednesday were received by Gingee KS Masthan of the Non-Resident Tamils’ Welfare body at the airport. He said they had been taken illegally to Myanmar and were “brought back following steps taken by Chief Minister M K Stalin”. “Some 50 Tamils are still in Myanmar. We are in the process of bringing them back, too,” he said.
A Coimbatore resident, who was among the 13 people, said they had originally applied for jobs in Dubai and were taken to Thailand. “After reaching Thailand, we realised there was no job. We were put in a car, travelled for many hours and at the end of the journey we realised we were in Myanmar. We were forced to work for up to 16 hours a day,” he said on condition of anonymity.