Five Indians stranded in Dubai after accepting fake job offers

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on July 26, 2018 | Last updated on July 26, 2018 at 07.23 am
Five Indians stranded in Dubai after accepting fake job offers
The five youths with social worker Girish Pant (in blue).

They have been living in various mosques and roaming the streets without food or water for three days.

Five Indian youths - including three brothers, from the Indian states of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are stranded in Dubai, after being duped by fake job offers.

The men have been living in various mosques and roaming the streets without food or water for three days. Their plight was brought to the attention of the Indian consulate by local social workers. The consulate said that they will be flown back home to India.

The young men, who arrived in Dubai on visit visas earlier this month, were promised jobs with a Dh1,200 salary and accommodation facilities in two separate companies in Al Ain. The workers' agents were located in Mumbai and New Delhi with local representatives in the UAE who have abandoned them since.

Mohammed Milan Mundal (25), a West Bengal native and one of the stranded workers told Khaleej Times, "When we got to the company, we realised that we are going to be paid only Dh800. Food and accommodation costs were not even included. No overtime pay was also offered. We make the same amount in India, why should we work here."

Furthermore, local social workers have stated there has been a rise in cases of fraud recruitment agents bringing workers to Dubai and abandoning them. Girish Pant, a member of the Indian Consulate's community welfare team said travel agents in India must be discouraged from issuing visit visas to workers without background verification. "In recent times there has been a hike in such cases, and they come here and get stranded completely," added Pant.

He has also been helping the five workers by connecting them with the Indian Association in Sharjah who has in-turn provided them with free accommodation and food. Milan's brothers Ashraful Mundal (29) and Sajjad Ali Mundal (21) came to Dubai after selling jewellery that belonged to their sister. "The gold was kept aside for our sisters' wedding," said Ashraful.

Workers' struggle without help

"We paid a total of Dh12,824 (Rs240,000) for our visa, ticket, passport, medical, and agent commission. When we got here, we were told to sign a contract that said our salary will be Dhs 800 without overtime pay. When we said we won't sign it, we were asked to leave from the camp," said Sajjad. After leaving the camp, the men roamed the streets and lived in mosques and slept under buildings for three days.

The two men from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh were also caught in a similar situation. Muntazir Mukhtar Hussain (23) had to shell out Rs90,000 for his trip to UAE. "I was promised a Dh1,200 salary, and now my agent is not even checking on us. He said someone from the company would receive us at the airport. No one came. Based on some address he provided us, we took a bus and got to the camp."

Another camp employee referred the men to Pant, and he has been helping them since. "When I realised they are all facing the same problem, I clubbed them together and found a place for them to stay in Sharjah," he said. As of now, theyn just want to go back home. "There is no point in living here, we can go work in India instead," said Milan.

Indian Consulate General to take action

Sumati Vasudev, Acting Consul General and Labour Attaché at the Indian mission in Dubai said, "The Consulate is currently looking into the matter. Once we were informed of the case, we contacted the agents and have asked them to book their tickets back home to India."

In 2015, the Indian government has modified its online recruitment system after a plethora of complaints from foreign employers, workers and recruitment agencies.

Bindu Suresh Chettur, a lawyer who provides legal counselling at the Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC) also said cases of Indians being duped are on the rise, especially among workers. She said in "Provisions of visas need to be more vigilant before providing visas to workers, and they need to be clearly educated about the hazards of such trafficking," she said. Both Chettur and Pant have recommended the establishment of shelters at the Consulate for workers who get stranded in such cases.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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