Brokers eye shady business again
A section of private recruiters and their brokers have become very active to attract jobseekers with the promise of jobs in Malaysia though the modality of sending workers to the Southeast Asian country is yet to be finalised.
The recruiters started visiting Malaysia so that they could “buy” work visas beforehand and sell those to the workers at a higher price, insiders say.
This began soon after the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry on June 25 stated that Malaysia had agreed to recruit 5,00,000 workers from Bangladesh for different sectors.
A four-member Malaysian delegation led by its immigration department's Director General Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim visited Dhaka and had talks with the expatriates' welfare ministry officials on the finalisation of the modality on August 10 and 11.
Now the recruitment might begin by one or two months, said officials at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
“The Malaysian authorities will give us a report on the modality of the recruitment. Then our government will start processing to send workers,” Shahida Sultana, first secretary at the mission, told The Daily Star on August 20 over the phone.
As per agreement between the two countries, there is no scope for buying and selling visas. The recruiters will just provide manpower as per requisition of the Malaysian companies and get service fees for this job, said officials at the expatriates' welfare ministry.
But it seems they can no longer wait for the recruitment modalities to be finalised and have become active both in Bangladesh and Malaysia to secure their business. They have already engaged brokers to find potential workers, a number of private recruiters alleged.
The middlemen, known as “runners”, from Malaysia and Bangladesh were the main sources to “get” work visas, a private recruiter told The Daily Star. He, however, spoke on condition of anonymity.
“The middlemen have close ties with the Malaysian employers. So, there is a huge competition among the recruiting agents to convince them for buying visas,” he added.
Visa trading is an open secret now, he said, adding that the recruiters “buy” the visas at a certain price and sell those to workers at almost double or three times the price.
Since jobseekers are very keen on going to Malaysia, they are also approaching the manpower brokers.
“For the last three years, I have been trying to go to Malaysia. So I have already contacted a local agent,” said Babul Hossain from Jhenidah.
Taking advantage of the workers' interest, the manpower brokers are asking for money ranging from TK 1.5 lakh to 2.5 lakh each for a job in Malaysia, said jobseekers.
Jahangir Alam, a manpower broker from Jessore, is working for two recruiting agencies at Banani and Fakirapool in Dhaka. He said there is a huge response from jobseekers in the rural areas.
Noman Chowdhury, who also runs a recruiting agency in Dhaka, however, alleged that a section of recruiting agents and their brokers, who have close connection with political leaders, were looking for jobseekers across the country.
However, Begum Shamsun Nahar, director general at the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), claimed that they had not received any complaint yet.