UAE | General

Sponsor in a fix as maid runs away

Family left in the lurch after maid, hired through a recruitment firm, disappears

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 March 24, 2011
  • XPRESS

Anjum Khan
  • Image Credit: © XPRESS / Ahmed Ramzan
  • Anjum Khan shows the documents of her housemaid who went missing the day her visa was stamped

Dubai: An Indian family living in The Gardens is crying foul after the maid they recently hired through a recruitment agency in Abu Dhabi went missing.

Anjum Khan, a sales executive with a private company in Dubai, said she had spent over Dh15,000 - including Dh7,000 as agency fees - to sponsor Baiq Muksin, a maid from Indonesia. "She came to us on January 18 this year, but went missing on March 3, the same day her visa got stamped."

Khan said the maid, who was hired to take care of her four-month-old daughter, disappeared when the family had gone out for some chores.

No guarantee

"When we informed police, we were asked to go to the Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Accordingly, we registered a case with them and submitted her passport," said Khan, adding that the maid had also left behind her original contract with the agency.

"We were concerned for her. But when we contacted the agency, we were told that they cannot do anything other than check if she had gone to the Indonesian Consulate," said Khan. Elham Hamgi from the agency said: "We can do something only if the maid gets in touch with us or the consulate. Our agreement clearly says there is no guarantee or replacement in the case of a runaway maid."

"It is mystifying that there are absolutely no laws protecting the sponsor in such a situation. If the maid ran away because she was being mistreated, she would have gone to her embassy/consulate or to the agent as the agency had advised her to do so. However, she is now free to find illegal employment while we're left to foot a bill of Dh15,000," said Khan.

"There's a Dh50,000 fine for hiring illegal maids, yet there's no process or information available to sponsors on what to do in a situation like ours," she added.

Khan said since she and her husband are both working, she has no choice now but to enrol her four-month-old baby in a nursery. "Over time, we have also discovered many things that have gone missing from our house - like money, clothes, undergarments, make-up, toiletries and perfumes," she claimed.

XPRESS