KUALA KANGSAR: A 43-year-old estate manager claimed trial at the magistrate’s court here today to 15 charges of exploitation in the form of forced labour.
L. Ganis, from Bahau, Negri Sembilan, pleaded not guilty to 15 separate charges of the forced labour of eight males and seven females, aged between 13 and 66.
The offences were allegedly committed at Ladang Koperasi Kelapa Sawit Sdn Bhd, Belukar Semang, Kampung Tasek, Pengkalan Hulu, on Feb 26, 2017, at 12.10am.
The charges were read before magistrate Noorhidayah Mohd Saad.
Deputy public prosecutor N. Jayanthi requested for the court not to grant bail for the accused, as it involves 15 charges and the accused knows his victims (and where they are).
Ganis was charged under Section 12, 13 and 14 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.
Lawyer S.M. Karunananthan, who represented the accused, requested for bail, as the accused is married and has children. His client had also visited the Pengkalan Hulu Hospital during his remand period to seek medical attention for heart disease.
Noorhidayah set March 27 for mention of the case at Kuala Kangsar sessions court, and for a decision to be made on whether the accused will be granted bail.
A Tamil interpreter will also be appointed for the accused.
In addition, Ganis pleaded not guilty to a charge under Section 52(3) of the Societies Act 1960 for having ties to the Wah Kee group (Gang 04/18).
According to the charge sheet, the accused was found to have a tattoo of overlapping coins (Wah Kee) and the numbers “04” on it, on his right thigh, during an inspection at the Pengkalan Hulu Police District Headquarters at 4.45pm on March 15.
Noorhidayah set Apr 18 for the document submission at Pengkalan Hulu magistrate’s court.