by Ananda KANNANGARA
The newly formed Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) last week cancelled eleven job agencies that operated under different names at many parts of the country.
In addition, the Bureau investigation teams had also cracked down 59 illegal foreign job recruitment agencies during the first six months commencing from January this year.
SLBFE, Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka told the Sunday Observer that legal actions were taken against 63 owners of these 59 errant job agencies and provided relief to victimised job seekers following Court orders.
He said 70 percent of the fines which were imposed by Courts on bogus job agencies are deposited in the SLBFE Accounts and they will be utilised to provide welfare facilities for workers and their dependents in Sri Lanka .
Ranawaka also said the licences of number of registered employment agencies which indulged in unauthorised activities when selecting employees for foreign jobs have been temporarily suspended until the investigations are finalised.
The Bureau also thanked the Sri Lanka Standards Institution for the assistance given to grade all registered foreign job agencies since it will be important for Lankan job seekers in future.
Meanwhile, the Bureau has received complaints that some job agencies retain the passports of job seekers and demand colossal sum of money by promising them lucrative jobs abroad.