ALOR STAR: A cafe operator claimed trial at the sessions court here today to separate charges of exploiting five Thai teenagers as forced labour in Langkawi, last month.
The accused, Teo Yian How, 44, was charged with exploiting the four girls and a boy, aged between 16 and 17.
Teo, from Air Hangat, Langkawi, Kedah, is charged under Section 14 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007 for exploiting immigrants into doing forced labour.
The charge carries a penalty of three to 15 years’ jail, or a fine, upon conviction.
Teo is alleged to have committed the offence at Kafe Tujuh & Sembilan, No 35, Jalan Bunga Raya 2, Langkawi Mall, Kuah, Langkawi, at about 2am last Saturday.
The accused, who was clad in a blue T-shirt and jeans, claimed trial when the charge was read by a court interpreter before Judge Zanol Rashid Hussain.
Zanol set bail at RM15,000 for each charge and one surety, which makes the total bail RM75,000.
The court then set May 22 for mention.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ana Rozana Mohd Nor prosecuted, while the accused was represented by lawyer Tang Jay Son.
The victims are currently placed at a shelter home.