ISLAMABAD: The Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai has written to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment seeking action against nine companies allegedly involved in trafficking people from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The letter was written in response to complaints by Pakistani citizens living and working in Dubai. Signed by Community Welfare Attaché Saulat Saqib and available with Dawn, the letter informed the FIA that Pakistani citizens have filed applications against companies and agents that they claim are running fake companies in the UAE.
“They issued fake offer letters and visa approvals and charged huge amount from the applicants for their jobs in UAE,” it said.
The letter added: “It is requested to look into the matter and take necessary action for redressal of grievances of the applicants as per rules and procedure, under intimation to this mission.”
Letter to FIA, Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment sent in response to complaint by Pakistani citizens living, working in Dubai
The companies mentioned in the letter include Loyal Force Security, Al Nasir Al Byad Security, Najam Al Falak Security, NAS Security Services, Nokta Technical Services, Red Falcon Facility Management and Jehlam Technical Services.
The issue is very sensitive because a large number of Pakistani citizens suffer at the hands of fake agents, PTI MNA Ali Awan from Islamabad told Dawn.
“As I have been in the travel agency business for two decades, I am well aware of the miseries of the people who spend their life savings to travel abroad and in the end are deprived of everything,” he said.
“A number of Pakistanis are hired on promises that they will be get handsome salaries, medical, residential and other facilities, but after reaching they are shocked to see that none of the promises are fulfilled. Some Pakistanis even find that the companies that hired them practically do not exist,” Mr Awan went on.
To a question, he said that the PTI government was in the process of introducingan automated system that people can use to verify the status of recruiting agents. He said there was a list which mentions which agents “are reliable and which are not trustworthy”.
FIA Deputy Director Immigration Sajid Khokhar said that the agency has set up an Anti-Human Trafficking Cell that is involved in finding agents who deprive citizens of their money.
“Whenever a complaint is reviewed, not only are cases registered against the agents or recruiting agencies but strict action is also taken as no one can be allowed to recruit Pakistani citizens and then leave them on their own in the UAE or any other country,” he said.
In response to a question, he said that people cannot be stopped at airports as they travel on genuine visas and it is not possible to confirm whether the company they are going to work for exists.
“We work as a check post and only check the documentation. However zero tolerance is shown whenever such complaints are received,” he said.
Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2020