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23 Apr 2021

Sakina Fatima, Siasat

Duped by a job agent in UAE, 64 Indians trapped in single room; rescued

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They were all promised jobs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by unscrupulous recruiting agents. After paying money to these agents in lakhs and reaching the country on a visit visa, 64 Indians, of which there were carpenters, AC technicians, etc., realized they were duped....According to Khaleej Times, Shirali Sheikh Muzaffar, a social activist who noticed some of them crying on the side of the road in Sharjah, learned about the plight of the workers. Muzaffar said they had given their entire savings to the agent with the dream of starting a new life. Their misery began when they arrived in the UAE. After waiting for 14 hours at the airport, a vehicle arrived to pick them up. As soon as they got into the vehicle, everyone’s passports were taken away. Food was provided only once a day...A few days later agents told them to find their own food. One time when they asked for their passport back they were taken to another room and brutally beaten. Threatened with deportation if they protested. Muzaffar,...contacted the consulate agents and directed them to resolve the issue...Muzaffar said the passports of all 64 were returned to the agent’s office on the instructions of the consulate. Attempts were also made to classify the possible jobs by understanding the expertise in each job. Of these, eight got jobs. Muzaffar said 22 people had returned home.