'25-agency syndicate' hampering labour export to Malaysia: Recruiters
Alleged malpractice by "a 25-agency syndicate" is affecting Bangladesh's prospects in the Malaysian migrant market, according to certain recruiting agencies and former leaders of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruitment Agencies (Baira).
They alleged that former Baira secretary-general Ruhul Amin Swapan, also the proprietor of Catharsis International, is the main leader of the syndicate, at a press conference today (April 27, 2022).
The press conference was held under the banner of the Baira Anti-Syndicate Grand Alliance (BASGA) at the Jatiya Press Club,
The leaders at the time demanded that the licences of all the recruiting agencies named in the syndicate, including Swapan, be revoked.
Ali Haider Chowdhury, organiser of the grand alliance and former Baira secretary-general, read out a written statement while Baira's former president Abul Bashar, former secretary general Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman replied to various questions from the media.
The press conference was organised to brief the media about the latest development of reopening the market without any syndication and to demand that Bangladeshi migrants to Malaysia like the way 13 other labour-exporting countries are doing.
They also demanded the alleged syndicate leaders be taken to task.
Former leaders of BAIRA demanded that Bangladesh should be allowed to send workers to Malaysia in the same process as the other 13 source countries.
They sought the intervention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Malaysian government and all concerned to resolve the standoff.
Abul Bashar said the migration cost of workers increased several times due to 10 syndicates in the past. "If it is syndicated again, the cost will increase more."
"In addition, those involved in the syndicate have laundered money in various countries, including Canada in the past," he alleged.
"The Malaysian market is not opening because of their misdeeds," he said demanding that the government cancels the licenses of those whose names appear in this syndicate.
The former Baira president also said due to the syndicate, the migration cost of workers will increase manifold. "They will smuggle money abroad," he said.
Ali Haider said some Malaysians are trying to make Bangladesh a "money-making machine" with the help of a local clique. "Syndication will increase irregularities, corruption and immigration costs as before. Hundreds of manpower traders will be deprived. There will be anarchy in the labour market."
Malaysia is hiring workers from 13 more source countries. In that case, it would be disgraceful for Bangladesh as an independent country to take workers from Bangladesh only through the syndicate, he also said.
Shamim Ahmed said the government does not want this syndication. "The traders also do not want that now and did not want it earlier. All valid licence holders must have the opportunity to send workers to the country."