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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

I’m held hostage in Laos – a Kazakh woman caught in labour slavery

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I am a hostage, they do not let me out, I ask for help – a citizen of Kazakhstan was caught in labour slavery in Laos

Anel Bermaganbet of Kazakhstan stated on her page in the social networking site that she was caught in labour slavery in Laos. The girl went to Thailand to work in a Chinese company to gain experience. Now, however, she is reportedly being prevented from returning home and required to work for a year, Kazakhstani media reported.

Anel flew to Thailand “to try her luck, see a new country, interesting people, earn money at a Chinese company, quietly start building her brand, learn a new field. When she got off the plane, she was met by representatives of the same company, who helped her with all her questions and took her to the hotel, where they rented a spacious room for her. In the morning her personal driver was waiting outside the hotel.

“We go to the airport, fly to Chiang Rai, then take me about 2.5 hours through some village. We arrive at passport control, the Thais nod their heads and I get a stamp to leave Thailand. Then I was put in a boat with all the people to swim ashore, swam for about 10 minutes, I paid for my ticket for 150 baht and climb the stairs with my suitcases, but no one met me, already doubts poured out of me, I write to the Chinese managers, they said you are on your way, “- girl writes.

Anel took a PCR test, which was paid for by the man who met her on the spot. According to the girl, she realized she had been cheated on as soon as they entered the company’s territory. She had been tested for drugs and told she would be living in a dormitory, though she had previously been promised a double room or a hotel room.

“When I saw the room, I was shocked and cried, I came right out of there because there were pigs living there, everything was smoky, scattered, dirty and there was no shower room,” wrote Anel.

According to her, her relatives from Kazakhstan are working on a solution and a way out of this situation. The girl’s brother went to the police, and friends went to the embassies of Vietnam, Thailand, and the Laotian Foreign Ministry.

“At the moment reached the embassy of Vietnam, Thailand, Hanoi, and the Russian Embassy in Laos, all promised to help. But the point is that this is not a state where you can solve the problem in one day. My brother wrote a statement to the Department of Internal Affairs of the Kyzylorda region, 40 hours passed, and no one answered. They are solving the problem on their own, through their acquaintances.

I am writing this post to attract the attention of government agencies: the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, to help me leave here. I am a hostage in this country of Laos. It turned out that they have their own plot of land here, which they rent, where they can carry out such illegal activities,” said Anel.

“It’s my fourth day in Laos, I locked myself in a room alone, not letting anyone in, yesterday I tried to talk to an older Chinese man about not working under these conditions and that I could reimburse the cost of the flight and fly home. He answered: This is not a place where you come and go, you have to stay here for one year, so I panicked. The company turned out to be scammers, which is supposedly a platform for investment,

I had to do the job of a customer service manager”, – wrote the Kazakh woman.

The girl attached screenshots of correspondence with her “employer” to the publication.

The police department of the Kyzylorda region responded to the reports of labor slavery and initiated a criminal case. “On this fact, a criminal case was registered under part 1 of article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (illegal deprivation of liberty, not connected with kidnapping), and a pre-trial investigation was launched. To date, citizen B. A. is recognized as a victim in the criminal case, and her brother is recognized as a representative of the victim, “- said a report of DP of the region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also commented on the situation.

“On August 19, our compatriot got in touch with the consul and told her the situation. The RK embassy in Hanoi has sent a corresponding note to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a request to provide maximum assistance in the release of a citizen of Kazakhstan Anel Bermaganbet. Lao police are already dealing with this issue and negotiations with representatives of the Lao Foreign Ministry and Interior Ministry are expected.

It should be noted that her safety is not in danger and she is in permanent contact with diplomats and her family. According to her, her documents and phone were not taken away from her, nor were her phone and Internet connections restricted, and no force was used. She arrived in Thailand and further along the route voluntarily. She also said that her employers were willing to let her go if she would reimburse the financial means they spent on her flights, accommodation, and other expenses.

This issue is under the special control of our embassy in Vietnam. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Vietnam will provide the necessary assistance in the return of the Kazakh citizen back home, “- informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry asked Kazakhstanis to carefully study documents and contracts for work abroad before signing them and going abroad, as well as to check possible employers to avoid unforeseen situations.

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