DUBAI: Indian missions in the UAE have warned job aspirants to be wary of fake employment agents, who have again started to target unsuspecting persons after a brief break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a media report on Thursday.
“Concerned that few unscrupulous agents are exploiting our citizens and putting them at risk abroad. Recruiting agents must act responsibly or will be held accountable,” Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Secretary, tweeted earlier in the week.
The MEA secretary’s caution comes amid reports of 12 Indian women being duped by employment touts in the UAE last month.
Aged between 21 and 46 years, the women were offered jobs as housemaids. However, when the women landed in the UAE they found out that the offers were bogus.
Roop Sidhu, general secretary of the Indian Association in Ajman, a community-based group, said Ajman police had arrested one agent in connection with the case.
He said the women were found locked up in two apartments in batches of seven and five persons each. He said the women complained of being ill-treated.
Nine of those women were repatriated and the remaining would be sent home soon, he told the newspaper.
The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi has said that they will always take up such cases with the local police but it would be better if the job aspirants educate themselves on how such fraudsters operate and stay away from them.
“The @IndembAbuDhabi and @cgidubai has acted upon complaints about such agents and brought them to justice. We encourage everyone to report all such agents. Your proactiveness can change someone’s life,” the mission tweeted on Monday.
❇️The @IndembAbuDhabi and @cgidubai has acted upon complaints about such agents and brought them to justice. ❇️We encourage everyone to report all such agents. ❇️Your proactiveness can change someone’s life.#HomeAwayFromHome@AmbKapoor @MEAIndia @IndianDiplomacy @SecySanjay https://t.co/zfvTf3d8rD— India in UAE (@IndembAbuDhabi) January 11, 2021
Second Secretary, Press, Information and Culture at the Indian Embassy, Sandeep Kaushik said such fraud cases had reduced in number during the COVID-19 lockdown but once again they have started to surface after international travel resumed.
Consul General of India Dr Aman Puri told the newspaper that Indians must leave for jobs abroad only if they have proper documentation and if the process that the agents are asking them to take is endorsed by the government.
Most fake recruitments happen with the agents asking the targets to land in the UAE on tourist or visit visas as in these cases the UAE government and the Indian missions do not cross-check the authenticity of the job offers, the Gulf News reported.
The UAE government’s online Wage Protection System should be used by jobseekers to verify the authenticity of the employment offers and entry permits, officials said.