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Former official denies blame as Saudi maid saga goes on

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Ahmad Yahya, former secretary of state at the Social Affairs Ministry. KT/Mai Vireak

A former Social Affairs Ministry secretary of state who lost his post after being linked to the illegal sending of a migrant worker to Saudi Arabia posted a video to his Facebook page on Saturday denying wrongdoing in the case.

Ahmad Yahya recently lost his job after being linked to the high profile case of Math Sanas, 28, who was rescued after pleading for help in a viral Facebook video, in which she said she had been working without pay for 12 years.

Mr Yahya confirmed in his Facebook video on Saturday that he placed her in a job in the country through his company, The Accent Group, but said she then changed employers without his knowledge.

“I want to show the public that my company is legal,” he said.

“She brought her passport to me to send her to Saudi Arabia. I helped her because she needed a job. I did not know that she was underage because her passport said she was 18 years old.

“When she arrived there, she escaped from the employer that my company had sent her to. When she joined her new employer, she did not phone my company for help. It is not my fault.”

Last week, Labour Ministry secretary of state Datuk Othsman Hassan said he had found another migrant worker stranded in Saudi Arabia after being sent there by Mr Yahya’s company.

The two government officials have had a tumultuous relationship, including a defamation conviction against Mr Yahya in August 2016, when he was ordered to pay 100 million riel compensation ($25,000) to Mr Hassan, who had sought $1 million from him.

Mr Yahya was also ordered to pay a fine of 5 million riel ($1,200) to the state.

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