There surely is a strong pull factor that draws many young and educated people, the so-called ‘Dream Seekers’ to look for fortune abroad. Many are willing to take unforeseen risks and pay huge sums of money in the hope of greener pasture abroad. Unfortunately, most of them are eventually discarded by the agents that get them to the midpoint of their journeys, only to be held captive by another group and released after huge sums are paid by their family in Bangladesh as extortion money, as revealed in the case of Al Amin, a victim, whose account was carried by this newspaper yesterday. This is the experience of most of those that seek employment abroad but fall victim to unscrupulous traffickers. In the case of Al Amin, the travel agency owner seems to have disappeared closing down his office.
The travails of jobs seekers and their ultimate fate is very well documented. But regrettably, the outflow continues. Unfortunately, the administration has not been able to employ the proper mechanism to stem the tendency.
There are several points at issue that must be addressed seriously and immediately. Firstly, how do so many Bangladeshis manage to leave the country; it is evident that they travelled with fake documents. Secondly, there is a criminal cabal that exploit the job seekers and procure the so-called employment documents. One cannot discard the fact that some in the immigration department are a part of this gang. Thirdly, how is the extortion money paid to someone as far away as Libya?
We suggest a thorough investigation into this be launched immediately to identify and apprehend the criminal gang. Secondly, there should a vigorous awareness campaign in all media platforms to warn prospective job seekers abroad of the dangers of the trap of this gang. Thirdly, the causes that generate the push factors should be addressed.