Business Times

Forged passports – are job agents responsible?

A Sri Lankan foreign employment agent this week raised an interesting issue: “How do you define a forged passport?”

“I have 100s of passports by would-be migrant workers. Some of them have left them in the office for eight years and not gone abroad. Am I responsible if they bring a perfectly valid passport issued by the Immigration Department that has been obtained by furnishing bogus documents,” asked Wijeya Undupitiya, a former computer systems analyst who set up a recruiting office 20 years ago,
“Many of these passports are of women who on the spur of the moment decide to go abroad due to a fight with the husband and then make up and decide against migrating for work,” he told the Business Times, adding that he has written to the Immigration Commissioner for a ruling on the definition of a forged passport.

Mr Undupitiya’s attention was drawn to the issue, in which he is also planning to file a fundamental rights case in the Supreme Court on the grounds that his rights is likely to be infringed, after an 18-year, whose job application he was handling, was arrested with a forged passport.

The mother of this youngster had got him a job at a garment factory in Mauritius where the former has worked for many years. However the recruitment age was 20 years. The young man had obtained a passport listing his age as 20, paying a bribe to an officer at the Immigration Department and getting the job processing done through Mr Undupitiya’s agency.

“I didn’t know it was a passport obtained under false pretences. In fact I have written to the Immigration Commissioner-General to clarify what a forged passport is because the passport is genuine as it’s issued by the department,” he said, adding: “There are many cases where migrant workers produce passports which are legally valid but secured by bribing someone at the department to insert a false date of birth.

He said he often sees women walking into his office saying ‘happily’ that they have got a passport after submitting forged papers. “They don’t think it is wrong and illegal,” he said, adding recently an 18-year old youngster was arrested by police for possessing a ‘forged’ passport.

Mr Undupitiya deals only with garment factory workers. “I think we should not send workers as domestics because it’s degrading work. Furthermore unlike any other kind of workplace, it’s difficult to establish a good residence and a bad one. No one knows what goes inside a home and generally to go in, even for the police, a search warrant is required.”

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Business Times Articles
Kalpitiya resort bids cancelled
Forged passports – are job agents responsible?
Crisis-hit Bangladesh apparel buyers turn to Sri Lanka
Govt. postpones restructure of CEB, CPC
Colombo Stock Exchange goes gold in March
Buoyant Ceylon Tea riding high this year
Comforting your aching feet! These shoes are meant for walking
Eminent Lankan astrologer predicts mixed results for Sri Lanka
Retaining the IMF
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry withers GSP+ storm
New life for loss-making government firms
JAAF intervenes to boost the image of 'Juki girls'
SL exports to Asia vital to regain highs
Australian course on soft-skills in Sri Lanka
Sunshine Holdings group post-tax up 38%
Watawala Plantations says 'remarkable growth in profit ' last year
ODEL shows strong 9-month growth, turnover up 42%
Amaya group after tax profits up 4,502% on Reefcomber sale
Subsidy for coconut producers
Tokyo Cement poised for better growth:RAM Ratings
Haycarb reports pre-tax profit of Rs. 548 million for 9 months
Large part of A9 highway to Jaffna re-constructed by local engineers
Heritance Hotels group wins awards for ‘Cleaner Production’
Tourism renaissance in Negombo, Jetwing leads the way
Around 200 homes awaiting registration in home-stay tourism concept
Golden opportunity of demographic bonus to trigger economic growth
‘Polkudu’ treatment for heart ailments
London School of Commerce opens Colombo unit
Ceylon Leather revamping their look, keeping their feel
Cinnamon Hotels holding group after tax profits up 236%
India's Zensar targets Rs. 1 bln from SL in 2 years
Leo Burnett tops Gunn report in new world thinking
Top Sri Lankan expat appointed to Brandix board
Lankan tour guides lament over hard times and reduced commissions
BOI chief Jayampathi quits Hayleys
NCCSL embarks on new work plan to improve trade with Asia
Efutures’ remittance solutions to premier banks
Short week at the Colombo bourse sees dull trades, no lustre
20 to adopt newly-launched Microsoft Lync


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution