Saudi Arabian authorities sent back 105 Bangladeshi migrant workers on Tuesday and yesterday -- as part of a crackdown on undocumented workers in the kingdom.
With them, the number of migrant workers returning from the Middle Eastern country has now risen to 355 over the last seven days.
A Saudia Airlines plane, carrying 42 workers, landed in Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:20pm on Tuesday. Another plane of the same airline, carrying 63 workers, arrived around 1:15am yesterday.
Following their arrival, a support team comprising of officials of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Brac Migration Programme arranged food for the returnees and assisted them at the immigration office, officials said.
Some 120 Bangladeshi workers returned from the oil-rich country on Friday night. On October 3, 130 migrant workers returned home from the kingdom.
Shariful Hasan, programme head of Brac Migration, said around 10,000-11,000 Bangladeshi workers have so far been sent back by the Saudi authorities this year alone.
So far this month, the number of returnee migrant workers stands at 441, he said.
A number of returnees alleged that they had “Iqama” or valid work permit in Saudi Arabia, yet they were sent back, Shariful added.
The ministry and the Bangladesh mission in Saudi Arabia should verify such allegations, he said.
After finding out why Bangladeshi workers have been sent back, course of action should be taken so that more workers do not have to face similar situation, he further said.
Quoting Shamim of Pirojpur, one of the returnees, Shariful said that Shamim went to Saudi Arabia three months ago after spending Tk 3.5 lakh. He was sent back, despite having Iqama.
Quoting another worker, Mohiuddin of Munshiganj, Shariful said Mohiuddin was nabbed by Saudi immigration police when he left home for a nearby mosque for Esha prayers two days ago.
Mohiuddin had been in Saudi Arabia for the last 10 years with valid work permit, he added.
Contacted, Gazi Mohammad Julhash, director general of Wage Earners’ Welfare Board, said besides providing initial support at the airport they also ensured the returnees’ well-being and arranged medical assistance as per necessity.
He said they can look after case-to-case basis welfare of the migrant workers once they approach the board.