Businessman sues over unlawful arrest

Businessman sues over unlawful arrest

LERIBE – A government crackdown to catch illegal foreign workers has run into serious problems.
Last Friday, Operation Thoso, as the operation is dubbed, arrested a Mosotho of Chinese descent on allegations that he didn’t have a work permit.
Businessman Xishan Lin has now instructed his lawyers to sue the government for unlawful arrest and humiliation.
Lin told thepost that officials from the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Trade, the police and the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) raided his shop in Hlotse.

Some MPs from Hlotse and surrounding areas were in the entourage that conducted surprise visits to several businesses in the town.
Lin says he felt humiliated when the officials accused him of working without a permit and arrested him.
“I did nothing wrong to an extent that I could be treated in that way,” Lin told thepost, adding that they handcuffed him like a criminal.
He said the officials did not want to hear his explanation why he didn’t have a work permit.
“They just arrested me harshly in front of my customers and employees,” he said.

He said what angered him most was that after they handcuffed him, someone from that group took him a picture and posted it on social media defaming him.
“That tarnished my name and the business because what was said about me was not true,” he says.
He says Labour Minister Moshe Leoma later came to remove the handcuffs to hear his side of the story, “but it was too late because my pictures were already making rounds in the social media”.
Lin says after their conversation, the officials admitted that they should not have arrested him in the first place.

Lin does not need to have a work permit because he is a Mosotho.
“I know my job and I abide by the rules of this government,” he said.
He says he has instructed his lawyer to sue the officials and the involved ministers.
“I maintain that my name has been tarnished and my employees were also shocked and think I am working illegally,” he said.
Four Chinese nationals were arrested for selling expired food in different supermarkets in Hlotse.
Some supermarkets were ordered to close and clean their storerooms.

’Malimpho Majoro

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