World, Asia - Pacific

Over 217 Bangladeshi workers deported from Saudi Arabia

Lure with promise of good jobs, most return empty-handed

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 23.01.2020
Over 217 Bangladeshi workers deported from Saudi Arabia

DHAKA, Bangladesh

More than 200 Bangladeshi workers have been recently deported from Saudi Arabia, returning home almost empty-handed, according to a report released Thursday.

“All of the returnees have landed home country almost with empty hands, mostly less than one year after migrating to Saudi spending a handsome amount of money,” Shariful Hasan, Migration Program chief of Bangladesh-based international NGO BRAC, told Anadolu Agency.

Members of corrupt recruiting agencies charge an average of more than 400,000 Bangladeshi taka ($4,700) to each worker with a promise of lucrative jobs in the Middle East country, he added.

Saudi Arabia currently hosts the highest number of Bangladeshi workers. More than 2.5 million Bangladeshis working in Saudi Arabia, according to government records.

Hasan said that no recruiting agency has been punished for cheating workers.

“Those agencies send workers to Saudi Arabia, promising normal duty hours and lucrative wages. But the workers mostly find a contradictory scene after reaching there. At a stage they have to return home with almost empty hands.

“The corrupted syndicates then recruit new workers with the same high charge. Thus many cheating cycles have been developed in the manpower exporting sector,” he added.

Recently departed Sujan Bishash from the northern district of Norail, migrated to Saudi Arabia only three months ago, spending 450,000 taka ($5,300) for job at an office.

“But he did not get any job there and was detained by police and finally returned to home with empty hands,” Hasan quoted Bishash as saying.

In 2019, 25,789 Bangladeshi workers were deported from Saudi Arabia. Of them, there were hundreds of female workers who were also allegedly physically assaulted.

Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen in a press conference in Dhaka last November said the government would enhance monitoring to curb cheating expatriate workers.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed all concerned to stop cheating expatriate workers who are also the main source of country’s foreign reserve fund.

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