UAE | General

Con man preying on amnesty beneficiaries

Some amnesty beneficiaries claim they were swindled by the promise of new visas

  • By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:35 February 4, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News
  • Amnesty seekers receive outpasses at the Bangladesh Embassy, just in time for the expiry of the government-imposed deadline in Abu Dhabi.

Dubai: Few amnesty beneficiaries, who were ignorant about a ban slapped by authorities on them forbidding them from returning to the UAE, claimed that they were duped into paying thousands for a new UAE visa.

Speaking to Gulf News, a day before leaving the country, they said that they were unable to legally lodge a complaint here, but wanted to inform the public about such scams to avoid people from falling for similar cons.

Devika (full name withheld upon request), a Sri Lankan housemaid, was working in the UAE illegally for few years. She had approached the authorities earlier this month and secured an out pass to exit the country without any fines. In the meantime, while getting her papers processed, she was approached by a man, promising to get her a job visa in exchange for money, she said.

“At that time, I didn’t know about the ban on my passport… So I thought if I can come back legally, I would be able to support my family financially in a better way,” she said.

“It was a desperate decision. I agreed to pay him Dh3,000 he had asked,” Devika said, adding that the man seemed to be from Bangladesh.

Later, it is when she heard about the ban that she realised she had been conned.

She had struggled to come up with that amount, she said.

When she asked around, she came across three other Sri Lankan housemaids who had the same story to say.

One of them said she paid Dh9,000, while another said she paid Dh5,000.

“We got together and approached Dubai Police, but we were asked to contact the immigration, since we already had our out passes.”

However, they ran out of time to lodge a formal complaint, Devika added.

The Sri Lankan consulate could not be reached immediately to check if they had received similar complaints.

 

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