Wed, 08 Dec 2021 Today's Paper

Warning for foreign job seekers

25 November 2021 01:57 am - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

SLFBE had also apprehended a couple charged with obtaining Rs. 900,000 each from persons seeking employment in Dubai. 

the majority of those who go abroad for work without registering with the Bureau have been subjected to various kinds of harassment and abuse

 Rs. 3.5 million worth of benefits were awarded to 22 dependents of the victims 

 

 

Over the past month, Sri Lankan media reported on the long queues observed at the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Battaramulla. Although government officials have attempted to spin facts stating that the government has created a large number of foreign employment opportunities for its citizens, a glimpse into local social media behaviour offers a different reality. 

 

 Meanwhile, reports about fraudulent employment agencies, overseas job opportunities and network marketing/ multi-level marketing schemes have increased in the country. At times of great financial distress and high unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data collected by government departments and bureaus, the complaints about fraudulent business opportunities and work-at-home plans are elevated compared to last year.   

Most often fake recruitments happen with people who still arrive on tourist or visit visas to look for jobs, with the promise that they would be given employment visa on arrival.


Most often fake recruitments happen with people who still arrive on tourist or visit visas to look for jobs, with the promise that they would be given employment visa on arrival. Those who fly on visit or tourist visas with the assurance of jobs from such bogus agents neither get proper employment nor any protection.  

 


Foreign job scams foiled by SLBFE
In October, the SLFBE had apprehended a couple charged with obtaining Rs. 900,000 each from persons seeking employment in Dubai. The racketeers had promised their clients to send them overseas for employment illegally on tourist visas.   


The SLBFE said the arrest were made on a tip-off received by Minister Piyankara Jayaratne. Officials working undercover apprehended the suspects, who were later brought to the Foreign Employment Bureau office in Kurunegala and were taken into custody by the Bureau officials.  

 

According to the Bureau, there have been cases in which some unscrupulous agents had appeared as Bureau officials and obtained money from desperate job seekers.

 

The couple was produced before the Kurunegala Acting Magistrate and released on strict bail. They were also imposed a strict travel ban. According to the SLBFE the couple had obtained a labour license from a foreign employment license holder in the Kurunegala area on a power of attorney. However it was later revealed that the labour license had expired.  


Further, the Bureau said it would take action in the future to revoke the relevant labour license in accordance with the provisions of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Act.  


According to the Bureau, there have been cases in which some unscrupulous agents had appeared as Bureau officials and obtained money from desperate job seekers. In the most recent raid, the Bureau arrested a woman from Madapatha who had obtained money from job seekers appearing as a Bureau official.  


The Special Investigation Unit of the SLBFE said it recently arrested the woman for fraudulently obtaining Rs. 140,000.00 from a job seeker. The woman who had claimed to be employed in Kuwait, had fraudulently obtained this sum from another woman who sought employment abroad.   


Preliminary investigations have revealed that the suspect had impersonated as an officer of the SLBFE and had even scammed the other woman in the vicinity of the Immigration and Emigration Department premises.  
The SLBFE said upon instructions of the subject minister, a raid was carried out to apprehend the woman. The suspect was then produced before the Kesbewa Magistrate’s Court on November 5, 2021 and was released on Rs. 5,000.00 cash and two sureties of Rs. 50,000 each.   

 


Registration mitigates issues
Secretary to the State Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Rohana Pushpakumara is of the opinion that registration with the SLBFE is the solution to many problems for anyone seeking employment abroad.   


According to reports, the majority of those who go abroad for work without registering with the Bureau have been subjected to various kinds of harassment and abuse. Pushpakumara stressed that the SLBFE goes through various difficulties in assisting workers abroad, when workers have not registered with the Sri Lankan Bureau.   
Pushpakumara expressed these views addressing an event where compensation was offered to dependents of the victims who had sought foreign employment without registering with the Bureau.   


The dependents were offered compensation under a special insurance scheme carried out by the Bureau through the Employees’ Welfare Fund, where cases are identified on reasonable and humanitarian grounds. A total sum of Rs. 3.5 million worth of benefits were awarded to 22 dependents of the victims.  


Usually, these benefits are provided by the Bureau Employees’ Welfare Fund to foreign workers and their dependents who are registered with the Bureau for overseas employment but do not have insurance cover for serious illness, accident, harassment or death due to non-extension of the registration period.  

 


Duly registered agencies are also engaged in rackets
However, according to Labour Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the ministry has received complaints that certain foreign employment agencies which have been duly registered with the Bureau are engaged in foreign employment rackets.  


It is reported that these foreign employment agencies obtain large sums of money from local job seekers promising them specific job categories in foreign countries.  The statement by the minister was made following a complaint made by a group of local job seekers that a foreign employment agency at Kurunegala had obtained large sum of money from them promising certain jobs in Dubai.  


According to the complaint, the owner of the said foreign employment agency at Kurunegala had obtained between Rs. 300,000 and Rs. 500,000 from each person promising employment in Dubai on tourists visas. Accordingly, a few persons sent to Dubai were stranded by the local job agent.  

 


Special grace period from Nov 15 to Dec 15
The SLBFE meanwhile has announced a special grace period for Sri Lankan workers who are employed abroad by numerous illegal means, to register with the Bureau in an effort to safeguard these migrant workers.   


Those employed in various illegal ways without being registered with the SLBFE and those who continue to be employed abroad without renewing their registration with the Bureau were requested to contact their relevant embassy for further assistance.   


The SLBFE said Minister of State for Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Priyankara Jayaratne, decided to extend this special grace period from November 15 to December 14 with the intention of extending the same benefits and insurance benefits to registered migrant workers. Accordingly workers who do not have an employment agreement or letter of appointment can register by filling up the declaration form provided at the respective Sri Lankan Embassy.  

  Comments - 3

  • N SENA Thursday, 25 November 2021 01:35 PM

    CAN THE SLBFE PLEASE GIVE THE AGE GROUP WHO HAVE TO REGISTER?

    Adwani Friday, 26 November 2021 07:13 AM

    Whoever is leaving for a job must register with SLBFE, irrespective of age.

    Punchi Banda Thursday, 02 December 2021 07:48 AM

    2500 year old Sri Lanka is a beggar impoverished country that provides unskilled labour to Muslim Arab and countries. 70 year old modern Israel is a powerful successful country that imports labour. It has used its Christian minority who are empowered and successful to do this.


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment





A Sri Lankan giving dignified burials to unclaimed bodies for five decades

After their death, most people are memorialized at a service, surrounded by g

Focus on Laggala Gem mining big shots bigger than the law

The truth is now being uncovered regarding an illegal mining racket in state

How and why the TNA was formed twenty years ago

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is now twenty years of age. The premier pol

India lays emphasis on culture diplomacy with Sri Lanka

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to inaugurate the Kushinagar Inter