When Jan Mracký, the owner of an employment agency, flew to Mongolia on a business trip at the end of January, he had no way of knowing that the planned three days will be prolonged to an indefinite number of days. Mracký provided employment for 12 Mongolian citizens who, however, did not get the work permits and are now blaming him. Police in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator arrested Mracký on 28 January on the basis of the allegations of the 12 Mongolians.
“I was taken to the police station in the Ulan Bator district of Sukhe-Bator because that is where our company used to have its office,” said Mracký. “Not even the fact that my wife is from Mongolia and that we have a number of friends in the country prevented me from spending the night and day behind bars.”
Mracký’s company provided employees for Karlovy Vary porcelain production. Miloslav Vošta, head of the Nymburk company Car Trim producing airbags, praises his cooperation with Mracký: “When we needed seamstresses in the first half of 2007, Mracký’s company found them in Mongolia. In addition to that, they provided translation of our production processes and looked after the workers during their stay.”
Jan Mracký said that approximately one half of the people he arranged work for where university educated: “Often they had to work manually due to the language barrier, though.”
The Mongolian police is investigating Mracký, who has been released from custody. He was released only when a number of his Mongolian friends were willing to vouch for him. They face high penalties if he flees the country.
“The investigator qualified the crime as fraud, and I am facing 5-10 years of imprisonment,” said Mracký and added: “They have also confiscated my passport a number of times. However, I always got it back thanks to the Czech Ambassador.” Mracký cannot leave Mongolia.
Several of the Mongolians from the group that stood behind Mracký’s arrest at the beginning, changed their minds after a day. But apparently the police did not allow them to withdraw their charges, though.
The Czech Embassy in Ulan Bator and the Foreign Ministry are trying to help the businessman too.
“We offered Mr Mracký help with finding a lawyer. We are watching the whole case, and the Embassy is in contact with him,” said Zuzana Opletalová, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. “We received information from Mongolian authorities yesterday. It indicates that he has now been accused of fraud by 27 people,” Opletalová said.
“The situation is complicated for our Embassy. I have to say, though, that the Consul David Hrdoušek, has been always very agile and has been of help, as much as his power allowed him,” Mracký said.
On his arrival in Ulan Bator, Mracký discussed the situation of the Mongolian workers in the Czech Republic with the Mongolian Labour and Foreign Ministries’ deputies. “I consulted my moves with the head of the department at the Interior Ministry Tomáš Haišman before I left the Czech Republic,” Mracký said. “There was a possibility of me becoming an official inter-governmental negotiator.”
Besides his own fate, Mracký is also worried about the Mongolian employees already working in the Czech Republic thanks to him. He is afraid that they will find it hard to withstand the current pressure from Czech foreign police and employment authorities. “We even had a project for cleaning jobs for all our current Mongolian employees,” Mracký said. “Since I am here, some of our employees have already applied for the programme of voluntary return to their homeland.”