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Maid sets up relative in sting to get back pledged passport

Despite her bravado, single mother can’t travel to her four kids in Sri Lanka unless she forks out Dh18,000 in fines

  • BY ANJANA SANKAR, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 22:51 November 7, 2012
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit:
  • stranded: Fathima Farzana stood guarantee for a countryman in July 2010 and has since been regretting the decision Supplied photo

DUBAI: A Sri Lankan housemaid carried out a sting to get back her passport she had pledged for a distant relative two years ago.

Fathima Farzana, 30, enticed Tuan Rizwan to meet her at a mall and got him arrested. Farzana has got back her passport but she’s still stranded and cannot travel to Sri Lanka to see her four children, aged between five and 11, unless she coughs up Dh18,000 in fines for overstaying .

Passport as guarantee

“My passport was withheld by the court as Rizwan had absconded without clearing his debts. Hence my employer could not renew my visa. It is impossible for me to raise a huge amount of Dh18,000. I work as a housemaid and have to support my four children as I am a single mother,” she said.

Farzana, who works for a British family, said her relative called her on a Friday in July 2010 and asked for her passport as a guarantee to avoid arrest in bank case.

“I offered to help Rizwan when he said he would be behind bars till Sunday because his passport was with his sponsor. He promised to return the document within two days and I agreed. Little did I know that he would leave the country without even telling me,” said Farzana.

According to her, Rizwan called from Sri Lanka and assured her that he would pay his dues so that she could reclaim her passport.

“But instead he left for Malaysia and then from there to Qatar. My kids were begging me to come back and I kept contacting Rizwan’s brother and wife but they refused to help.

“Finally after almost two years, he called me from Qatar saying that he is coming back to Dubai during Ramadan. I decided to lay a trap and get him arrested to get my passport back,” said Farzana.

When she confronted Rizwan, he offered to pay Dh2,000 in monthly instalments to clear his debts.

“There is an outstanding of Dh35,000 that he has to clear in credit card payments. I turned down his offer as it meant another long wait before I could go home,” she said.

Alleging that Rizwan had debts up to Dh500,000 and several cases pending against him, Farzana said she set up a meeting with him at Al Ghurair Centre and tipped off the police who promptly arrested him.

Hefty fine

Though Farzana got her passport back, the housemaid is far from fulfilling her dream of going back to her kids for good.

“I have got a fine of Dh18,000 for overstaying my visa. I tried explaining to the authorities that my passport was with the court and hence I should be exempted but to no avail. I was told that my passport is blacklisted and I have to get my name cleared,” she said.

Comments (4)

Your comments
  1. Added 10:38 November 8, 2012

    The 2 counties are memebr countries of GCCC. If the person is in Qatar, she should have asked the authorites to interven to take custody the person. I think she has gone long away instead.

    Anura, Doha, Qatar

  2. Added 09:08 November 8, 2012

    If this woman or any relative of this woman can contact me and I can Lobby this issue with the highest authorities in UAE. Please asked them to contact me ASAP. We can take it from there. I am sure I can resolve this matter. muhidanj@yahoo.com

    M Jeeran, Colombo, Sri Lanka

  3. Added 08:56 November 8, 2012

    The Sri Lanka Ambassador/Embassy should move in this matter swiftly..after all what are they there for if not to be of assistance to Sri Lankans...and this is a genuine case where the housemaid is the victim !!.The Law in the UAE is quite acceptable and in order as laws are not framed with particular rare situations in mind...However the whole point in having laws is to ensure that justice is done..and if someone takes the initiative, a ruling in mitigation should not be problem. Hope this finds a responsive chord with people who have mothers and others who have kids. Shermal

    Shermal Fernando, Male', Maldives

  4. Added 08:42 November 8, 2012

    Well done, you have help Police to get arrested a criminal who thinks that his very smart.

    Edward, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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