Sri Lanka sex slaves in Oman – Another suspect apprehended

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Yet another suspect connected to the shocking revelations of a major sex slave trade in which Sri Lankan women are being sold into slavery in Oman has been arrested.

News 1st has been closely following this story for over a week and exclusively revealing the sordid facts surrounding this shame on our nation.

The suspect, a resident of Puwakpitiya, Awissawella, was produced before the Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage on Sunday (20). The suspect was remanded until December 01. 

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in decades resulting in many people choosing to head overseas hoping to find greener pastures. However, as reported by News 1st for over a week, many are working in conditions that can be only be described as Modern Day Slavery. 

News1st exposed the horrendous situation being faced by many mothers, sisters and women who travel overseas as domestic aids, caught in the clutches of a human trafficking ring. The expose centered around an incident where several women, taken to the United Arab Emirates from Sri Lanka after being promised employment there, who were forcibly taken to Oman on the November 15. A resident of Colombo was arrested on Saturday (19) over suspicion of being involved. 

On Sunday (20), yet another suspect was arrested by the local police. The man is suspected to be a ‘middle man’ who finds women seeking employment overseas. Police said the suspect was arrested after receiving complaints from several women he had sent and abandoned overseas. 

More sordid details into the human trafficking ring in Oman are coming to light. These include serious allegations of women, sent for employment overseas on visit visas, being used as sex slaves. Two such victims, speaking Exclusively to News 1st, recounted their harrowing stories and detailed the abuse they faced inside a safe house run by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman. 

“I travelled to Dubai on October 03, 2021. I went to Oman from Dubai and worked at a house in Oman for a month. I spent around 4 months at the Embassy. I spoke to a man named Kushan and told him that my children are suffering. He did not take much notice. He said that he will look into it. He asked me to come and see him on another day, adding we can discuss the matter ‘casually’. He later sent me his address, booked a taxi and sent me some messages. He then took me to his house and proceeded to inquire from me as to what I wanted. He said that he will look into sending me back home. Suddenly, he put his arms around me. He held me by my hand and pulled me towards him. I pushed him away, said “I did not come here for this,” and said all I wanted was to speak to him. He then said, “If you agree to this, I can send you back to Sri Lanka.” He continued to forcibly pull me towards him. I shouted and cried. He got scared and said he will drop me off at the Embassy. At 8.30pm on the August 31, 2022, I was sent to the shelter run by the Embassy,” said Fathima, a young mother.

The second women, alias Tharu, told News 1st that she was not subject to such treatment. However she explained that ‘Kushan’ and another individual bring people from Sri Lanka to Oman on fake visas. “He told us that we need Rs. 700,000 to Rs. 800,000 to travel back to Sri Lanka. He said some people need Rs.1.2 million to go back home. He told us to find the money, failing which we can go with this representive of the agency and do his ‘work’. They are not good people. They operated brothels there. They used to sell and harass girls. ‘Kushan sir’ was directly connected with those agencies. ‘Kushan sir’ forces the women. I heard it with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes,” said Tharu. When News 1st inquired further, Tharu accused Kushan of being ‘corrupt’ saying he forced the women, even assaulted them, to work with those who operate brothels.

Meanwhile Ranthatige Nishanka alias Dubai Sudda, who revealed details of the human trafficking ring, has received death threats. “Ever since I exposed this and revealed their names to the media and on social media, they have placed a Rs. 2 million bounty on my head,” he said.

During an exclusive interview with News 1st, ‘Dubai Sudda’ played a recording of a threatning phone call he had received: “I will take you. I will take you using my money. I have about Rs. 100 million. It’s all stolen money. I will get you in one hour. People are afraid when they hear my name. Sudda has published a TikTok of this. I have offered 2 million to take him down. Record this voice and send it to even 100 police stations in Sri Lanka. I will kill you. Save yourself if you can.”

‘Dubai Sudda’ also revealed details about another Sri Lankan women stranded in Oman. “There is a 21 year old woman in Oman. In a video she said that she had been abused. She still remains inside a house in Oman, and is unable to move out. Her passport is with the agency representative,” he said speaking to News 1st.

When contacted, the Foreign Employment Bureau stated that the official attached to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman accused of these heinous crimes has been suspended. The official is the officer acting in the capacity of Third Secretary at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman E.K. Kushan. 

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