Can employer hold Passport of its employee?

Discussion in 'Employment Law' started by onliner, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. onliner

    onliner New Member

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    Hi Friends,

    What can be done if Passport is being confiscated by employer in Indonesia & not paying pending dues and not arranging Exit Permit Order (EPO).

    To which authority we can complaint?

    Pls guide.

    Thanks
     
  2. atlantis

    atlantis
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    For the confiscated passport, Police. If you can prove that they indeed have your passport. You can prove it with a document (ex: a letter saying that they confiscate it) or a witness. You need at least two means of proof (1 document + 1 witness, 2 documents, 2 witness...etc).

    But first, write them a kind letter requesting your passport and stating that they should not hold it without your authorization. Wait a week for their answer then with or without answer and if your passport hasn't been returned, fill the report to the police. If they answer and confirm that they have your passport, you already have one means of proof in hand. The idea is to incite an answer confirming that they refuse to give you back what belongs to you.

    Then let them know, again by writing, that should they fail to return your passport in a very short time you will not withdraw your report and make sure it goes to Court. Quote them the article about penggelapan (art. 372 KUHP). If they have a lawyer, he will understand that you don't feed them pork pies and that you are serious about it.

    Pasal 372


    Barang siapa dengan sengaja dan melawan hukum memiliki barang sesuatu yang seluruhnya atau sebagian adalah kepunyaan orang lain, tetapi yang ada dalam kekuasaannya bukan karena kejahatan diancam karena penggelapan, dengan pidana penjara paling lama empat tahun atau pidana denda paling banyak sembilan ratus rupiah.

    Art. 372 is about embezzlement and works for anything, be it money, merchandise, documents...etc
    Once you get them for the passport, you may be in better position to negotiate the amount dues to be paid.

    They are really stupid because the passport is a criminal matter while the pending dues are a civil matter. They could get away with the latter, not with the former.

    This is the heavy answer, if you believe that a softer approach is not anymore in order.

    If I would be you, and if all other approach would have failed, I would do as above. It is a terrible mistake that they have done if you can prove that indeed keep the document without your authorization. If you can prove it, they should better be very polite with you because art.372 is a treat for Police. They know they can extort good money from them if you give them the proofs, even if you withdraw your report.

    In my almost 20 years here I have reported quite a few people who had forgotten to pay us or to return a car/truck or whatever. It has been amusing to see how all by sudden I managed to catch their attention just after reporting them, while they were ignoring polite requests to comply with their obligations.
     
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  3. atlantis

    atlantis
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    An important addit to the above:

    Don't expect the police to do anything if you don't bring ALL necessary proof and witnesses. Don't expect them to investigate or to summon witnesses....etc. With any relation with the police, YOU investigate, YOU gather evidences, YOU bring to them witnesses, YOU provide a vehicle to a police officer to bring a warrant...etc. Keep this in mind. Police officers will move only when the case has been completed by... YOU. There are exceptions but in my experience police officers are pretty lazy and many at the lower level barely know the intricacies of the KUHP. The more you ease their job, the better they like you, the faster your case go.

    If you expect a police job like back home be ready to be surprised.

    Hey, no kidding, in some cases I have even pointed at a confused officer what article of the KUHP could be concerned! I could write a book with funny anecdotes about my relation with the Forces here in almost two decades.
     
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  4. onliner

    onliner New Member

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    Dear Atlantis,
    Thanks a lot for your response and suggesting the options.

    Re: Proof of the passport with employer is there in written. As i asked their acknowledgement while submitting my passport 51 days back.

    Another proof the employer holding my passport, I reported to embassy and they even spoke to employer and just doing the soft followup -without any constructive response from employer.

    Daily followup is being done since last 51 days to relieve me amicably but all efforts are in vain.

    Employer is a powerful figure with political connections. Am facing mental harassment and threat to my career. Its being like stranded in abroad condition now.

    Pls suggest any govt. authority or pvt authority to approach to get relived from this unnecessary harassment from employer.

    Thanks
     
  5. Bad_azz

    Bad_azz Well-Known Member Charter Member Cager

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    Don't be cowed by "politically connected people", he is a bully - end of story.
    In short he has taken your passport illegally- he is a criminal.
    Your passport does not belong to you- it belongs to your country and he has stolen it. Simple as that.
    There is no point asking for advice and then being to scared to follow through with it, what was the point in asking in the first place? Sorry if that sounds harsh, but seriously this man is obviously getting off on pushing you around- hit him with the things atlantis already told you to.
    The people you take it up with are the cops and your embassy (again) & they will probably tell you to take it up with the cops. Tell the cops he is harassing you too.
     
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  6. Bad_azz

    Bad_azz Well-Known Member Charter Member Cager

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    May I also ask, why did you hand over your pp in the first place?
     
  7. onliner

    onliner New Member

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    Dear Bad_azz,

    Thanks for your response, firstly am not scared to report the same being intimated to the embassy - just needed advices prior to taking the legal actions.
    As am an expat and being alone here need to know the laws of the state as its different everywhere so was seeking the guidance on this portal.

    Thanks for advising the options and giving me the courage to act more significantly.

    Regards
     
  8. onliner

    onliner New Member

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    It was handed over for the Visa purpose - as i was due to travel in the third country (but unfortunately trip got cancelled and my passport was withheld).
     
  9. centurion

    centurion Member

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    It is forbidden to seize somebody`s passport. The passport is the ownership of the government that issued the document and you can intervene for that to your embassy. Then they should call the police that should discuss the matter with your employer. Human trafficking often includes seizing passports and embassies know that as well.

    From my friend`s experience- his passport got seized, he complained to his embassy, the embassy sent their officer to the police, police spoke with the employer the next day, and EPO was done in 2 days and the passport was returned.
     
  10. snpark

    snpark Active Member Cager

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    Worse case scenario just report it stolen / lost and get a new replacement one if you need to travel urgently or are planning on leaving
     
  11. godmachine12

    godmachine12 Member Charter Member Cager

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    Did you read the advice given or not? You've got your proof. Now, get down the police station and sort yourself out. Your employer, no matter how powerful you reckon they are, are committing a criminal act by withholding your passport. Go and do something about it.
     
  12. onliner

    onliner New Member

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    Thanks Centurion for your inputs, I duly informed the embassy and they started following up with the employer too.
    But as you mentioned the embassy should have mediated strongly by sending the representative which is missing in my case.

    Although the option of generating a new passport can be asked to my embassy if the things are not settled amicably.

    Thanks for your inputs. It helps!
     
  13. onliner

    onliner New Member

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    I thought of registering a police complaint, the issue is:
    Am staying in company provided apartment, and once i complaint to police I do not have place to stay after i lodge the complaint. Pls note the 4 month salary is due so its tough to bear the daily lodging expenses when you are not sure about the time frame.

    Consulted lawyers as well and they too make opinion to go via embassy first, as there is not fix time for settlement and may take 2-3 months.
     
  14. Bad_azz

    Bad_azz Well-Known Member Charter Member Cager

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    Are you in Jakarta if so I know a place that is really cheap but with a/c clean rooms western toilet & hot water- 3 mill a month or nightly rates around 170,000. I can message you if you indicate you want that option.
     
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