Former “Saki Stores” employee sparks Immigration and Labor investigation

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

August 31, 2018

Chuuk— In an email circulated to a large group of FSM and international government officials and others, Vikas Bijlwan, a former Padma Enterprises- Saki Store employee from India made several serious allegations of wrong doing associated with the store. He made the claims from India after he was allegedly summarily dismissed from employment with the store in Chuuk on the evening of August 4 and handed a plane ticket for a flight that departed for India just over five hours later.

FSM Secretary for the Department of Justice Joses Gallen has dispatched investigators from Immigration and Labor to investigate the claims. In an online interview on Wednesday of this week, Gallen wrote that their investigation into various labor claims, including allegations that owners of the Saki store confiscated passports of foreign workers on arrival, a claim that if true might have meant that employees were held against their will, should soon be completed.

He wrote that Immigration and Labor were already assigned to investigate the claims when National Police officers in Chuuk began their own investigation so he instructed them to “hold on and not interfere with the immigration investigation.”

“Yes, we will pursue to criminal investigation if warranted from the immigration report,” he wrote.

Bijlwan claimed that employees feared reporting any of the accusations he made in his email because they had been told that the foreign owner allegedly claimed to have influence through bribery and other means with government officials including FSM Attorney General Joses Gallen.

Gallen said that he had no idea what would lead Bijlwan to make that claim. Gallen said that he is not a part owner of any Saki Stores and that he solely owns JG Stores with no partner. He said that he has no association with the owner of Saki Stores.

One result of the investigation so far is that employees from India whose work permits had expired were repatriated to India but at press time, the Immigration and Labor investigation had not been completed.

Bijlwan’s widely circulated email message which included copies of his contract, his expired entry permit, and his passport also included a link to a “warning” he had written on “blogspot” to other Indian workers considering employment with the store. That warning included several allegations not under the purview of Immigration and Labor. We could not confirm whether those allegations are being investigated.