Six Pakistani Belly Dancers Rescued  in Sri Lanka

Six Pakistani Belly Dancers Rescued in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — A group of six young Pakistani women and their male manager were rescued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE) yesterday after being allegedly exploited and forced to work as belly dancers at a nightclub in Colombo.

The DIE’s investigation division acted on a tip-off that a local businessman was keeping the passports of seven Pakistani nationals and employing them as dancers in a club. Upon questioning, the women, aged between 22 and 35, revealed that they had been brought to Sri Lanka from Karachi under the pretense of working in a film.

The local businessman had arranged air tickets and one-month business visas for the group, promising them a monthly salary of Rs. 250,000. However, instead of providing them with work in a film, he forced them to work as belly dancers at a popular nightclub in Kollupitiya.

The women stated that they had not received any payment for their work at the club and were only able to make ends meet from the tips they received. The businessman had also failed to provide them with meals.

When their first 30-day visas expired, the businessman extended them to December. However, when three of the women decided to leave the country and return to Dubai, he refused to return their passports.

Frustrated and desperate, the women complained to the DIE officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). The remaining four women, along with the male manager, stayed in Sri Lanka as they lacked the funds for return tickets.

When questioned by the DIE, the businessman claimed that the foreign women had violated their business agreement by not training well for the film. He further stated that they were placed in a nightclub to learn how to dance.
Human Trafficking:

The DIE authorities, following the instructions of Controller General Harsha Ilukpitiya, handed over the seven foreigners to the CID’s Human Trafficking, Smuggling Investigations, and Maritime Security Investigation Division (HTSIMSID) for further investigation.

A statement was recorded from the businessman, who claimed to be a filmmaker. The CID HTSIMSID is currently conducting further inquiries into the case.

The Pakistani male manager, who is married to one of the women, stated that they were professional dancers and worked in the film industry. He added that they had come to Sri Lanka seeking opportunities in the film industry but had been deceived by the businessman.

This incident highlights the plight of migrant workers who are often vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Authorities must remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect the rights of migrant workers.

Related Articles