Pakistan Consulate
Ahmed Amjad Ali (second left), Pakistan Consul General in Dubai; Gyan Ghand, Deputy Consul General (left); Ashique Hussain and Abdul Wahab Shaikh during a media briefing at the consulate premises on Monday. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

Dubai: Pakistan Consul General in Dubai has warned the community against the unscrupulous recruitment agents back home and asked them not to ‘buy’ visas.

“Beware of the illegal agents and do not buy visit visas with promises of employment,” said Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai.

During a media briefing on Monday at the consulate premises, the Consul General revealed that there has been a sharp increase in number of complaints by people who were duped by the illegal recruitment agents who sell visit visa to people with promises of jobs in the UAE. “These agents operate in Pakistan and mint money from job seekers who want to work in the UAE to earn living,” he said.

Five companies banned

Ali revealed that the Pakistan government has already banned five recruitment companies on the recommendations of the Consulate as they were found involved in duping innocent job seekers. “We are taking strict action against the agent mafia and companies back home who were involved in cheating people with promises of ‘non-existing employment. We receive at least 20 complaints of ‘visa fraud’ every week,” said Ali.

Follow UAE laws

He advised people to follow the procedures set by the UAE authorities and the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis. “Job seekers can always check with the consulate about the jobs they are promised by any recruitment agent,” he added.

He said the most job frauds complaints wre received against companies who recruit security guards. He also advised the Pakistani community members in the UAE to inform the consulate in case they come across any ‘visa fraud’ cases.

Consul General Ali along with Gyan Chand, Deputy Consul General; Abdul Wahab Shaikh, Passport Consul and Ashique Hussain, Press Consular, also briefed media on wide ranging topics including the steps taken to improve community services at the consulate.

Help for destitute people

Ali said the consulate has paid more than Dh522,500 to buy around 10,000 flight tickets for destitute people to help them fly back home. The consulate also paid more than Dh22,000 in financial support.

The consulate provided legal assistance to 386 prisoners and bought them tickets to send them back home.

Ali clarified that the consulate could not provide financial help to everyone specially to those who are bank loan defaulters, have visa overstay fines or involved in heinous crimes.

“We can only provide flight tickets to destitute, pay money for body embalming or repatriation of bodies, help critically ill people to send them back home on stretchers and issue out passes (temporary travel documents).

Ali said the consulate would also soon get a few lawyers on its penal to provide legal assistance to community members.

We will soon open a tourism display centre at the consulate to educate people about the tourism sector in Pakistan and to provide all possible information and assistance to those who want to visit Pakistan,

- Ahmed Amjad Ali, Pakistan Consul General

Improved services

He said the consulate has improved its facilities to provide better community services. A temporary consular hall for the passport renewal was built last year with the capacity of 180 people while separate sitting areas were provided for people coming for identity card renewals and to apply for visas.

Tourism display centre

“We will soon open a tourism display centre at the consulate to educate people about the tourism sector in Pakistan and to provide all possible information and assistance to those who want to visit Pakistan,” he said.

110,000 passports issued

According to statistics, the consulate issued around 110,000 passports last year including 6,000 out passes (temporary documents) and 40,000 national identity cards. It also attested 24,000 documents including educational certificates, marriage and divorce certificates.

Mobile consular services

More than 5,000 community members in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Sharjah also benefited from the ‘mobile’ consular services being provided over the weekend. The consulate started the ‘mobile’ consular services in April last year by starting sending a team on Fridays in Northern Emirates to provide consular services to those who find it difficult to come to the consulate due to their work commitments.