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Nepal: Nepali embassy in Qatar repatriates workers lured to the country by fraudulent visa schemes and recruitment agents

The Nepal embassy in Qatar has received a significant number of migrant workers asking to be repatriated. The workers were lured Qatar with false promises of free movement between jobs and made to pay "hefty amounts" in recruitment fees. It is alleged that recruitment agencies, company employers and human resource officials colluded to promise workers employment through non-existent 'Aazad visas'. They were told these would allow them to find lucrative employment and receive no objection certificates (NOC) permitting them to change employer freely.

In one case 16 workers were made vulnerable to a range of labour abuses. They were promised a minimum monthly salary of Qatari riyal 1,200 to 1,400 but instead faced visa fees, 'hassle' from companies and HR officials, and were denied promised food and suitable accommodation on arrival in country.

Narendra Raj Gyanwali, labour attaché with the Nepal embassy, suggested that perpetrators are more likely to be small companies and agents within Nepal because "the Qatari government is strict about taking action against those who are found to have cheated migrant workers". The embassy also states that the number of Nepali workers being trapped by the free visa scheme has decreased after the Nepal government issued a directive making it mandatory for employers to have worker demand letters verified by embassies in destination countries.

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Article
3 May 2019

Nepal: Nepali workers in Qatar struggle for jobs after being duped with lucrative pay and free visa promises

Author: Chandan Kumar Mandal, Kathmandu Post

Nepali workers in Qatar are left in the lurch after falling into the trap of agents and recruiting agencies that promise them lucrative jobs and the prospect of changing work through a special visa scheme... The Nepali embassy in Qatar... regularly comes across workers who have entered Qatar under this [Aazad] visa category [which] doesn’t exist…[and is] created in collusion with agents, recruiting agencies, employer companies and their human resource officials. [Migrant workers are told] they can change their company or employer... can work freely... [and] that the …company that had issued the working visa would provide the no objection certificate (NOC) that will allow them to work anywhere else... Small and bogus companies and their employees are involved in minting money from this set-up. Workers are…exposed to financial exploitation as they…pay heavy amounts for entering Qatar and later…asked for a cut [for an] NOC and renewal of visa.

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Article
3 May 2019

Nepal: Search for lucrative jobs leaves 16 Nepalis stranded in Qatar for months

Author: Chandan Kumar Mandal, Kathmandu Post

As many as 16 Nepali workers... have remained stranded [in Qatar] for nearly three months...after they were promised lucrative jobs... They had been duped and were left without food and money... [Workers had been promised] a minimum monthly salary of Qatari riyal 1,200 to 1,400, besides the facilities for food and accommodation. According to [Narendra Raj Gyanwali, labour attaché with the Nepal embassy] the [recruiting] firms included Al Haya HR Solution Pvt Ltd and Jugal International Overseas Pvt Ltd... “The Qatari government is strict about taking action against those who are found to have cheated migrant workers. So Qatari nationals are not involved in these issues. Mainly small recruiting agencies and their agents in Nepal lure poor workers,” added Gyanwali... the embassy has started their repatriation by contacting with their recruiting agencies and subagents--Samrat Mainali and Kiran KC, who were to receive the workers in Qatar... repatriation of the stranded workers has begun.

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