Monday, December 11, 2023

Fraud alert from Libya

Govt urged to ensure proper screening as manpower cheats get active  
Bangladesh embassy in Libya has asked for stringent government measures so that illegal manpower syndicates cannot send jobseekers to that country.
The embassy sought such steps as it learnt that illegal syndicates have become active to send Bangladeshi workers to Egypt and Sudan with tourist visas, and then push them into Libya, official sources said.
Libya could be a very important labour market for Bangladesh. But any sort of illegal practices in sending manpower to that country might ruin the scope to utilise this opportunity, said Ahsan Kibria Siddiqui, first secretary (labour) at the Bangladesh mission in Tripoli.
The embassy therefore sought government steps to closely watch airport immigration in the country, Ahsan told The Daily Star over the phone recently.
Besides, it sought that the Bangladesh mission in Egypt request the authorities in Egypt and Sudan to check illegal entry of any Bangladeshis to Libya.
After a nine-month civil war in Libya, local and foreign companies are in the process of resuming their operation to rebuild the country. They are now seeking to re-employ foreign workers on a very limited scale, and regular recruitment of workers will take a few more months, officials at the expatriates’ welfare ministry said in Dhaka.
Since the civil war began in February this year, over 36,000 Bangladeshi workers returned from Libya. The companies concerned prefer recruiting their old workers, and more than 6o returnees were re-employed until December 1. Presently there are around 10,000 Bangladeshi workers in Libya.
According to a recent letter to the expatriates’ welfare ministry from the embassy in Tripoli, housing companies mainly employ Bangladeshi workers. Both local and foreign companies have huge amounts of money due from the Libyan authorities before the civil war. Besides, most of their capital machinery, transport and other materials were looted during the war.
“Therefore, before beginning fresh work, these companies are seeking their dues and compensation from the Libyan government,” says the letter. The Daily Star has got a copy of it.
Ahsan said that in such a situation, it is difficult for the companies to re-start work immediately. And they (embassy officials) are now very careful about recruitments in Libya as many of the companies had earlier failed to pay the dues of foreign workers including those from Bangladesh.
Contacted, Begum Shamsunnahar, joint secretary at the expatriates’ welfare ministry, said an inter-ministerial taskforce is already keeping a close watch on the airports, and also on the recruitment agencies so that none can illegally send workers to Libya.

-With The Daily Star input

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