A four-year-old girl from Kuching, Sarawak, was allegedly sexually assaulted at home by one of eight Vietnamese migrant fishermen who had been hired by the toddler’s father in a bid to start a fishing business.

The eight men, aged between 19 and 47, came to Malaysia three weeks ago on the invitation of the employer, and were residing at the employer’s parents’ home in Matang pending the completion of the fishing boat and applications for work permits, Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia) reported.

On Monday afternoon, the 33-year-old mother, a Vietnamese national, saw her four-year-old daughter playing with her husband’s employees in the living room.

In the early hours of Tuesday, the girl complained of pain in her abdomen, and her mother was shocked to find her daughter’s private parts red and swollen.

Learning that the girl had been penetrated, the mother informed her husband, who took their daughter to Batu Kawa Police Station to file a report at around 3am.

Malaysian police arrested all eight Vietnamese men on suspicion of sexually assaulting the child, pending further investigation to determine the culprit.

The girl was referred to a hospital for examination.