JEMPOL: Police arrested a local employer and his 43 Vietnamese workers, believed to be working without valid work permits, at the swiftlet bird’s nest processing premises in Bahau, near here, on June 8.

Jempol district police chief Supt Hoo Chang Hook said that a team from Jempol district police headquarters Criminal Investigation Division raided a two-storey shop lot, located at Bahau Business Centre, at about 5 pm.

“Police conducted intelligence around the premises since June 4, and detected the movement of a man going in and out of the premises in a suspicious manner. During the raid, 20 women and 23 men, all Vietnamese nationals, were working to clean and process swiftlet birds’ nests,” he said, in a statement here, today.

Hoo said that the investigation found that the employer, 47, had been running the business of processing swiftlet bird’s nests for about a year, and had rented three shop lots. A further check also found that all the workers did not have any permits to work at the premises.

“The shop was converted into living space, as well as a place to process birds’ nests. There are 18 bedrooms to house all workers,” he said.

He said that the employer was remanded for seven days, while the Vietnamese nationals were remanded for 14 days, from June 9, and the case was being investigated under Section 55B of the Immigration Act 1959/63, and Regulation 39(b) of the Immigration Regulations 1963.