KUALA LUMPUR: The police rescued 11 Rohingya children who were forced to beg during an operation dubbed ‘Ops Som’ in Bukit Bintang and KLCC here yesterday.
The victims comprised of seven teenage boys and four girls aged between two and 16.
Bukit Aman Special Tactical Squad 3, Special Action Force Anti-Vice, Gambling and Gangsterism (STAGG) principal assistant director, SAC Mohd Nadzri Hussain said initial investigations revealed that the children were forced by their guardians to beg for alms besides selling tissues and ‘surah Yasin’ to the public.
In a statement here today, he said STAGG had been monitoring a group of beggars since November to identify their daily movements.
Mohd Nadzri said investigations revealed the children were accompanied by five guardians – a man and four women – who boarded a bus from a flat in Jalan Ampang at 7.00 p.m. to the location.
“Upon reaching a certain location, the children are left to roam and seek alms from the public, including foreign tourists.
“They were taught to urge and force people to give money by tugging at their clothes to gain sympathy,” he said, adding they were able to earn about RM80 to RM90 a night.
He said the five guardians were detained at the Dang Wangi police headquarters and investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act 2007. — Bernama