Simranjeet Kaur, 19, is suspected to have been sent to Oman via Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Indian consulate in Dubai has again warned job seekers from the country against resorting to illegal channels to come to the UAE after it helped repatriate a teenager who was the subject of a frantic search after coming to the region on a visit visa seeking employment as a housemaid.

The mission got involved in a weekend rescue mission of Simranjeet Kaur, 19, who was suspected to have been sent to Oman via Dubai, after her sister’s friend tweeted a plea to the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, on Thursday.

As per the initial information provided on Twitter, Kaur, from the state of Punjab, had paid for a job in Singapore but was brought to Dubai. The woman, who posted the message, first claimed that Kaur was stranded in Dubai Airport Terminal 2 without a phone on Thursday night and that the agent who brought her was unreachable.

Swaraj then ordered the Indian consulate to offer immediate assistance.

During its investigation, the consulate found out that Kaur had cleared immigration in Dubai and her return ticket was booked from Oman, raising suspicion that she was being sent to Oman.

The minister then tweeted to the Indian missions in Dubai and Oman to trace Kaur and ensure her safety and wellbeing and to take stringent action that would serve as a warning for all such unscrupulous agents.

The consulate said it sought the help of Roop Sidhu, general secretary of the Indian Association in Ajman, and a member of the missions’ community volunteers’ team handling housemaids’ issues.

Sidhu said he managed to trace the agent in Ajman on Saturday. “He claimed he had paid for her visa and ticket and she was brought to work as a maid here. But he had got late in receiving her from the airport. She also agreed that these details are correct. But, when she reached the accommodation for the housemaids, she didn’t feel comfortable about the situation and wished to go back,” he told Gulf News.

“She clarified that nobody misbehaved with her and she just wanted to fly back home as her family was already worried about her. Then I took her to the consulate.”

The mission issued a flight ticket for her and a consulate official escorted her to the airport.

Swaraj appreciated the efforts of the consulate and Sidhu.

Kaur was received by her relatives in Amritsar on Sunday afternoon.

“This is what happens when people use illegal channels to seek jobs,” said Vipul, consul-general of India in Dubai.

He pointed out the consulate had repeatedly urged Indian job seekers not to come to the UAE on visit visas and use the eMigrate portal for the recruitment of unskilled workers. Also, Indian women aged above 30 years only are given emigration clearance to work as housemaids.

“It is unfortunate that such illegal network still continues between unregistered agents in India and agents who operate from here as well as some Indians based here in the UAE. There are several cases wherein girls were sent to Oman via the UAE. Simran has said a few more girls from her place were willing to come like this,” Sidhu said.

He said the consulate has requested the state government through the ministry to intervene to discourage such job aspirants and take action against unregistered agents and urged the UAE authorities to take acton against the inviduals involved from here.