UAE, Sept 24: Human traffickers, police officers at Tribhuvan International Airport, and immigration staffers have been found working hand in glove to dupe outbound migrant workers. This fact came to light after 10 Nepalis who are stranded in Dubai filed an application seeking early rescue at the Nepali Embassy in Dubai and at the Nepali Society, UAE.
We paid Rs 350,000 per person to come to Dubai, stranded migrant workers claimed. Traffickers had promised jobs as security guards in Dubai with minimum salary of 2800 UAE Dirham [Rs 78,800] per month, stranded workers said. “It has been more than a month; we have been left without promised jobs.”
Topi Ram Jaishi of Kachanapur, Banke; Gautam Giri and Suresh Bahadur Chand, Kailash Chandra Panta and Ganesh Bahadur Chand of Mahandranagar; and Hiran Khatri, Tahal Limbu, Dawa Tamang, Dipendra BK and Pranay Mukhiya of Gorkha have been awaiting rescue in Dubai after they were cheated by traffickers.
They had left Nepal for well-paying jobs in Dubai, but only when they landed in Dubai did they realize that they were duped by human traffickers. “We are compelled to sleep in parks without food,” stranded migrant workers said.
We realized about the network of human traffickers only when we arrived here, they said. Ramesh Nath took 10 Nepalis in Dubai after they paid him Rs 275,000 per person. He took all of us to Bipin Shrestha, another member of the human trafficking racket, and we paid Shrestha an additional Rs 150,000 per person, stranded workers shared.
Ramesh Nath, a Kathmandu-based member of the network, was also cheated by his team members Bipin Shrestha and Nabin Chhetri in Dubai, he claimed. “I first contacted Nabin Chhetri via Facebook and they promised me commission of Rs 20,000 per person,” he said. But both of them went out of contact after receiving the money from migrant workers I had sent from Nepal, he further added.
All 10 stranded workers had gone to Dubai on visit visas. Ramesh Nath claimed that a police official at TIA agreed to facilitate immigration works for Rs 60,000 per person. As planned, police at TIA immigration facilitated the departure process without asking about bank account details and pocket money. It is mandatory for a visitor to carry along at least $1000 while visiting a foreign country on a visitor visa. I have offered a bribe of Rs 600,000 to a police officer to escape that provision, Ramesh Nath said.
Acting ambassador to UAE Netra Bahadur Tandan said that TIA immigration should take tough measures to control human trafficking. “TIA immigration should not allow any Nepali to fly to foreign countries without approval from the concerned embassy,” he said.
“We came here without any money. And we were forced to go without food for many days,” they shared. Traffickers send Nepalis to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya using Dubai as a transit point, they claimed.
Ramesh Shrestha, vice president of Non-Resident Nepalis Association (NRNA), UAE, also alleged that negligence of the TIA immigration officials is responsible for rampant trafficking of laborers from Nepal. It is not difficult to distinguish a tourist from a laborer," he said.