ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Embassy in the Russian capital Moscow is warning Sri Lankans not to fall victim to the fake promises of human traffickers due to a rise in complaints against phoney foreign employment and education agencies in the island, the Foreign Ministry said.
“This year, the Russian authorities apprehended 27 Sri Lankans, who had entered the country illegally and 17 of them were already deported to Sri Lanka after completing their jail terms. Ten persons are still in the detention centres in various cites of the Russian Federation, as their legal process continues,” the Ministry said.
The Sri Lanka Mission in Moscow has said that according to complaints received from Sri Lankans, fake foreign employment and education agencies in Sri Lanka are on the rise while the number of Sri Lankans travelling to the Russian Federation on student/visit visas, seeking job opportunities and further migration to European countries has been drastically increasing over the years.
“Several Sri Lankan foreign employment and education agencies, Sri Lankan expatriates living in Russia and some other organized groups are engaged in these illegal activities. In most cases, students are misled and sent on student/visit visas with false promises of obtaining jobs for higher salaries and also to facilitate to cross the borders to European countries,” the Ministry said.
These agents and agencies have obtained large sums of money from unsuspecting students to travel to Russia and thereafter make illegal attempts to traffic them via state borders to countries such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Europe.
“We strictly advise Sri Lankans to refrain from using such illegal avenues to reach Russia or any other neighbouring countries. As per the immigration rules and regulations, foreigners travelling to the Russian Federation on visit visas are not permitted to work during the validity period of their visas,” the statement said.
The Mission has been notified by the Russian law enforcement authorities that a number of Sri Lankans have been sentenced and fined for their illegal activities. These activities include being illegally occupied as migrant workers following the expiry of visas and violation of immigration rules, possessing forged student/employment visas, illegal crossing of the state borders.
The Embassy has taken initiatives to keep the relevant authorities and the Governments of the Russian Federation, as well as Sri Lanka, informed of the details of reported complaints of human trafficking.
Reported by Mahadiya Hamza