Job seekers' agent illegally detained for human trafficking

Mar 19, 2009 (DVB), A job seekers' agent was illegally detained and threatened with a charge of human trafficking by local village authorities in Bago division who extorted money from him, according to a source close to one of his clients.

A relative of the client, a resident of Taunggyi village in Nyaung Lay Pin township, said the job seekers' agent had been helping her to get a job in government capital Naypyidaw.

After accusing him of human trafficking at the beginning of March, Taunggyi Peace and Development Council members demanded he pay 80,000 kyat ($US80). When he refused they took him to the police station.

The client's relative said the agent was the brother-in-law of an army sergeant in Naypyidaw. When the police discovered this, they refused the Taunggyi PDC's request to detain him.

"The next morning, the Taunggyi Peace and Development Council's chairman took the agent from the police station to his house and held him until the man agreed to pay 10000 kyat," said the client's relative.

The chairman again took the agent to his office on 3 March and 15 March and demanded more money to close the case despite it never being opened.

"The village chairman used government stamps on the summon letters [to the agent] which claimed the reason was to request for a donation."

Local village sources said the agent had filed a report on the extortion to army officials in Naypyidaw, using back up from his brother-in-law.

Reporting by Thurein Soe

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