Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia intervenes to send home women caught in job fraud

Three Malayali women, who were cheated by a travel agent in Kerala, returned home after the intervention of Indian embassy. According to them, an Ernakulam-based agency had recruited 21 Malayali women for a Riyadh-based contracting company engaged in cleaning work of government hospitals.While signing the contract in Kerala, the agency had offered them SR1,500 as monthly salary and collected Rs 85,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh from them as fees. The women reached Riyadh on March 1, 2016. On reaching the Kingdom they were asked to sign a document in Arabic. They realized the double-dealing when they got first month’s salary of SR 800 against the promised SR 1,500. When complained they were told that the job contract they had signed in Kerala was not valid and their salary and other terms depend on the agreement in Arabic. As per the Saudi labor law, job contracts prepared abroad should not be amended. The Malayali women contacted the company and diplomatic mission through a community activist. They were reluctant to work at SR 800 as salary and expressed desire to return home but the company refused to release them. However, the Indian embassy pressurized the company to issue exit visas to the Malayali women.



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