Indian workers in Saudi Arabia claim they were duped

Dubai, June 7 (IANS) Around 200 newly-arrived expatriate Indian workers in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province claim to have been duped by two Bangladeshi recruiting agents.

The workers claim that they had been promised skilled jobs at the Al-Babtain Plastic Factory in Damma, the Eastern Province's capital, by two Bangladeshi recruiting agents in that Gulf nation but were forced to work as cleaners after their arrival, the Arab News reported Friday.

The workers, both skilled and unskilled, had shelled out between Rs.90,000 and Rs.150,000 to a Mumbai-based agent, Fahad Enterprises, and are from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

The agency's licence number is 00255/BOMB/PER/1000/3/4174/9.

The Indians said that they were yet to see the factory they were supposed to work in and instead have been forced to do menial jobs in various locations in the Eastern Province under constant threats from their Bangladeshi bosses and were living in deplorable conditions.

It has been two months since their arrival but they have not received any salary.

One worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he was hired to work as an electrician but instead has been forced to clean toilets since arrival.

Another said he had sold gold meant for his sister's marriage to get a work visa and now he is unable to go home.

The workers said if they refused to work, they were denied food.

Now, the workers said, they have not seen the two Bangladeshi agents for the last three weeks and fear the duo might have abandoned them.

The group has approached Indian officials in Dammam and is also planning to approach the Saudi labour ministry for help to seek new sponsors.

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