POST TIME: 29 January, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 29 January, 2017 12:43:28 AM
Bangladeshi expats in Lebanon want action against brokers
Deepak Acharjee, from Beirut in Lebanon

Bangladeshi expats in Lebanon want action against brokers

Expatriate Bangladeshis in Beirut have urged the government to take stern action against some brokers, known as ‘dalals’ in Bangla, working in Lebanon. The expats are trying to secure the labour market from these middlemen in that country. At a meeting with a 17-member delegation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence at the Bangladesh mission in Beirut yesterday, the expats urged the delegation to arrest these brokers and repatriate them to boost the manpower market in Lebanon.
The expats claimed that the middlemen are controlling the manpower market in Lebanon through a syndicate. They allegedly charge a large sum of money to provide jobs to Bangladeshi workers in Lebanon illegally.
“As these middlemen are involved with the ruling party, nobody, not even the ambassador, takes action against them. They are earning a huge amount of money through visa frauds,” said one of the expats.
“These middlemen also collect USD 1,800 annually from expat Bangladeshis in the name of ‘akama’ (work permit). If any worker refuses to pay the amount, he or she loses the job. The middlemen assault them or even try to get them arrested by filing false cases against them,” he added.
Ali Akbar Molla, an expat Bangladeshi, urged the committee members to stop sending women as house-helps to Lebanon. The middlemen bring most of them via false visas and get them involved in illegal activities in Lebanon, he alleged.
Bangladeshi ambassador in Beirut, Abdul Motaleb Sarker, admitted to The Independent that they cannot take action against the middlemen, as they are involved with the Awami

League. “Sometimes they threaten to go on a campaign against me if I do not approve their unethical proposals,” he alleged.
He said the expats send USD 1.2 million annually back home.
The ambassador also claimed that the middlemen bring women workers with false job promises. “When they reach Lebanon and cannot get the promised job, these women escape from the workstations. Sometimes they communicate with the mission office, seeking to be repatriated to Bangladesh,” he said.
He also explained that most of the time, the middlemen bring in unskilled women who cannot do their work properly. On the other hand, the female Filipino workers can do all household work much better, he pointed out.
MP Dipu Moni, who is a member of the visiting delegation, said the situation relating to middlemen is not only applicable to Lebanon but to various countries. These include Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, Iran, and Malaysia.
“We will inform the Prime Minister’s Office about this so that stern action is taken against the middlemen,” she said.
The former foreign minister said that the authorities can take action against the middlemen in accordance with the Human Trafficking Act.
Another MP, Lt Col Faruk Khan (retd), said, “In Bangladesh, we find it difficult to get household helps. But a lot of them go abroad to earn money. They suffer most of the time. I cannot understand why they leave home.”