Kaski sees surge in foreign job fraud cases

Bijay Nepal 17 Dec 2023
Kaski sees surge in foreign job fraud cases Youths leaving for foreign job destinations attending a counseling session at Safter Migration Program.

POKHARA: A large number of youths heading for foreign employment have been deceived by their relatives, recruitment companies and agents, travel agencies, and educational consultancies. Many of them head for overseas job destinations without obtaining information about their employers and rules and regulations related to foreign employment. Some have no idea where to file a complaint.

Parbati Pariyar of Yangjakot in Kaski is one such youth. She suffered a lot as she had left for Kuwait without signing a labor contract. Parvati, who left for Kuwait last year, didn’t receive the pay and perks as promised. After enduring six difficult months, she returned with the help of Safer Migration (SaMi) Program. “I don’t want other Nepali youths to suffer like me on foreign land. I advise women not to accept jobs as domestic help in Kuwait. Also, don’t leave for job destinations abroad without signing a labor contract,” she added.

Parvati, who faced a loss of Rs 100,000 during her previous assignment in Kuwait, is considering going abroad again. “This time I will be careful. I will go only if the job is good,” she added.

Nabin Gurung of Taksar in Kwholasothar-9 of Lamjung paid Rs 400,000 to a recruitment agent who promised him a good job in Malta. But his dream of traveling to Malta was shattered as he was denied a visa. He filed a complaint against the agent, following which the agent returned him Rs 180,000. He isn’t sure whether he will be able to recover the remaining Rs 220,000.

As many as 172 youths from Kaski have filed complaints in fiscal year 2022/23, stating that they were duped by recruitment agents. Data collected by the Foreign Employment Development Board and SaMi Program shows that 15 of those filing complaints are women. “Complaints of 41 youths have been settled so far,” said Hemraj Adhikari, a consultant for the SaMi Program. “Work is underway on the remaining complaints.”

Officials could provide Rs 9.5 million in compensation to the people victimized by agents in 2022/23.

The number of complaints was 133 in 2021/22 and 35 in 2020/21. In the first five months of 2023/24, 35 youths have filed complaints seeking to recover Rs 1.38 million paid to agents.

The SaMi project has been working for the safer migration of migrant workers. It has been providing skills, information and counseling, financial literacy, psychosocial counseling, and legal assistance in the field of foreign employment. It has also been providing information about the importance of labor permits, health examinations, insurance, orientation training, receipts upon submission of payment, use of Nepali airports for migration, and other legal provisions.

Chetraj Acharya, an assistant officer at the District Administration Office, Kaski, said the office receives 20-25 complaints related to fraud every month. “Many of the victims do not have proof of financial transactions. They come with copies of checks, cash deposit slips, and even screenshots of conversations with agents as proof,” Acharya said. “We forward the cases if ‘foreign employment’ is written on bank vouchers. We settle the remaining cases at the district level.”

Acharya said awareness is necessary to reduce cases of fraudulent activities in foreign employment. “We suggest one and all to write ‘foreign employment’ in bank vouchers while depositing money to agents,” he added.

As per the Foreign Employment Act and Regulations, district administration offices and police offices have the authority to register complaints and reconcile both parties. However, the authority to conduct an inquiry into the complaints, file cases in court, and impose fines rests with the Department of Foreign Employment.

The District Police Office, Kaski, registered 41 cases related to fraud in foreign employment cases in 2022/23. These cases carry claims worth Rs 15.6 million.

Published On: 17 Dec 2023


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