PETALING JAYA - An employment agent, who allegedly dumped a maid's baby recently, has told police that he separated the infant from one of the maids for fear of her spreading her Hepatitis B to the boy.
A spokesman for the Shah Alam police headquarters said the man, in his 40s, who allegedly kept a bevy of maids as sex slaves, had told police in his statement that he separated the six-month-old child from his mother because she had Hepatitis B and he was worried that the disease might affect the baby's health.
According to the spokesman, the suspect, who is also accused of sexually abusing at least 29 maids working for him, disputed allegations that the maids were locked up as sex slaves.
"He claimed that he did not lock up the women. There were a few instances in which they could have escaped," he said.
"However, the women did not dare escape because they had overstayed their visit in the country and did not have valid documents to be here," the spokesman added.
On Wednesday, the agent was arrested and ordered to be remanded for a week for allegedly dumping the body of the infant at a popular highland resort.
The detention of the agent led to the discovery of a syndicate that has been holding foreign maids who were said to be forced to work without pay and also sexually abused.
Police also detained the 33-year-old wife of the agent, who is an Indonesian national, who has since been released on bail.
"The male suspect said he brought his wife to Genting Highlands to meet up with a group of friends," said the police spokesman.
He then left her with the group and disposed the child's body elsewhere, the source added.
The spokesman said the agent claimed to have panicked when he saw the lifeless baby.
Yesterday, police and officials from the Indonesian embassy accompanied the mother of the baby to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah to claim the body.
An embassy official said a lawyer has been assigned to act for the woman.
The case is being investigated under Section 3 and Section 26 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
In Klang, Selangor police chief Senior Deputy Commissioner Datuk Abdul Samah Mat said there are 13 Indonesian maids, including the mother of the baby, in police custody currently and they will be sent to the Immigration Department as they have overstayed in the country.
He said police were also looking for the remaining maids under the agent, adding that initial investigations showed there were 20 of them.
All were reported to have no work permits.