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Expat Recounts How Her Filipino Helper Was Caught And Chained By Immigration Officers

Her helper has been working for her for 10 years.

Cover image via Lynn Townley/Facebook

An expatriate took to Facebook to lament her Filipino helper's "unnecessary and cruel" experience in an immigration raid on 1 July

Screenshot from Lynn's video, where immigration officers were heard prohibiting onlookers from using their phone cameras.

Image via Lynn Townley/Facebook

"I was called by my helper who was in complete (hysteria) as she was loaded into a van, handcuffed, chained to 10 other people suspected of working illegally," Lynn Townley, an expatriate who has been living in Malaysia for 13 years, wrote in a Facebook post. 

Lynn added that the workers, chained together, were forced into trucks "like animals". They were also made to wait for five hours without water, and also went to the bathroom "chained as a group".

According to Lynn, her helper had a copy of her passport and a picture of her working visa when the raid happened

Workers were seen walking in line outside Kotaraya Shopping Complex.

Image via Ismail Koye/Facebook

She wrote that the immigration officers did not check the workers' documents before detaining them. Over 300 workers, including Lynn's helper, were taken from Kotaraya Shopping Complex in Kuala Lumpur.

"Most of them (were) on their day off, paying bills or shopping," Lynn added.

The workers were taken to the Immigration Department in Putrajaya

Employers who arrived at the Department were yelled at and ignored by the officers.

"Several legal employers were present, with the original documents, desperately trying to talk to the detained individuals or officers, but (employers) were yelled at and (the officers) refused to listen to the employers," Lynn wrote.

Lynn added that her helper was released with bruises on her wrists, and marker writings on her arms from "being tagged like a criminal"

"She was horribly shaken by this experience, and has done nothing wrong," Lynn wrote about her helper, before adding that she has always been legal, and "a kind and caring member" of the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (TTDI) community. 

"I understand the need to check documents and tighten down on illegal workers, but this process was absolutely unnecessary and cruel," Lynn added.

Less than a kilometre away, the Kuala Lumpur Central Market was also raided on the same day

A witness told SAYS that workers, some of them cleaners, were seen chained by their hands in lines and walking out of Central Market.

The raids coincide with the Immigration Department's Ops Mega 3.0 operation, which The Star reported was launched on midnight of 1 July.

229 illegal immigrants were arrested after officers checked the travel documents of 1,672 workers.

You can read Lynn's Facebook post here:

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