The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment has launched an island wide crackdown on illegal foreign employment agencies who dupe Sri Lankans, mostly women, by promising them employment in the Middle East countries and forcing them to part with their monies.

A spokesman for the SLBFE told The Island on Monday (4) that this racket had been going on for several years and that their special Investigative Unit has been raiding many such Illegal agencies and prosecuting them.

He said that most of the women job aspirants were for the Middle East countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait etc. as domestics and most of them were from rural areas who borrow monies to find employment overseas through these illegal agencies. Some even part with money seeking employment in Cyprus, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan and they are mostly men who are technically qualified.

The spokesman said that the Special Investigative Unit, of the SLBFE, last week raided unregistered foreign employment agencies in Ratnapura, Welimada, Kahawatte, Borella and Peliyagoda and took into custody five men and one woman with several passports of job aspirants and various other forged documents.

He said that there are many such illegal employment agencies throughout the country with the Special Investigative Unit directed to crackdown on them.