Dubai: Bangladeshi cleaner dies in hit-and-run; devastated family still in limbo 3 weeks on

They are still awaiting information on when Saiful's body will be repatriated to them


Mazhar Farooqui

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Thu 22 Feb 2024, 4:51 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Feb 2024, 12:04 PM

On January 28, Saiful Islam, a Bangladeshi cleaner working in Dubai, reached out to his colleague Joy via a voice note on WhatsApp. In the message, Saiful asked Joy, who was visiting their mutual hometown of Chittagong, to bring back his favourite fish fry. Regrettably, Joy couldn't relay the message to Saiful's wife.

Two days later, tragedy struck. Saiful, aged 41, lost his life in a suspected early morning hit-and-run incident while cycling to work at a supermarket in 8 Boulevard Walk in Downtown Dubai. He leaves behind his wife Jasmine and their two young children: a three-year-old girl and a seven-month-old boy.

Saiful's children
Saiful's children

Despite more than three weeks having passed since the accident, the family remains in limbo, still awaiting information on when Saiful's body will be repatriated to them. Additionally, they claim to have not received any updates regarding the identity of the perpetrator responsible for the accident or any potential compensation.

Speaking from Bangladesh, Jasmine expressed her distress, revealing that the only support received thus far from Saiful's employer amounted to Dh1,200. “How am I going to raise my little ones with this money? My husband was the sole breadwinner. We are devastated,” she said.

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In a tragic twist, it was revealed that Saiful's younger brother also died in a road accident, albeit in Bangladesh last year.

Saiful's cousin, Saifuddin, who resided with him in Satwa and works for a boat-making company in Al Quoz, fondly remembered him as a jovial family man who harboured aspirations of providing his loved ones with a better life.

“His body is lying in a morgue. The cleaning company that employed him is attempting to repatriate the body to Bangladesh after completing the necessary paperwork, all while neglecting to settle his dues. Saiful dedicated over a year of his life to working with them. Is his life worth only Dh1,200? We will not allow them to proceed with sending the body until they have fulfilled their financial obligations and provided adequate compensation.”

MD Arifur Rahman, first secretary of the Bangladesh Consulate, told Khaleej Times that the labour wing of the consulate is investigating the case. "The family of the deceased is entitled to receive BDT300,000 (Dh10,000) and another BDT 35,000 (Dh1,175) for repatriation expenses — provided he came to the UAE through proper channels and holds the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) card." Rahman emphasised the importance of the BMET clearance card, stating that assistance may be unlikely if Saiful does not have it.

Meanwhile, several residents of 8 Boulevard Walk have rallied together, offering financial support to Saiful’s widow. One resident reflected, "Saiful was familiar in our neighbourhood, especially among the children.”

While grateful for the community's assistance, she expressed a hope for justice, stating, “Our efforts can only go so far. It's crucial that authorities identify the individual responsible for the accident and ensure they provide proper restitution, including blood money."


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