India issues advisory to workers headed to Iraq

August 12th, 2011 - 12:58 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) With around 28 Indians having been duped by travel agents, India Thursday issued an advisory to prospective workers going to Iraq to exercise “due diligence” and to check credentials of recruiting agents before going to that country.

“It has come to the ministry’s attention that in recent months, some Indian nationals have been lured to work in Iraq by unscrupulous Indian and Iraqi recruiting agents,” the external affairs ministry said here Thursday night.

“On reaching there, they have often discovered that they were misled and are keen to return home,” the ministry said.

The ministry stressed that while the Indian embassy in Baghdad was doing everything possible to assist those cheated to return home, “all prospective workers are strongly advised to be very careful while accepting any such job offers”.

“It is important that due diligence is exercised and antecedents of the recruiting agents and the credentials of the employers are checked carefully through concerned governmental bodies before accepting offers of such nature,” the ministry said.

The Indian embassy is “proactively liaising” with the Iraqi authorities to facilitate the return home of about 28 Indians who are subjected to long working hours with poor salaries there after being allegedly duped by unscrupulous travel agents.

“It is understood that in recent months, a few Punjab-based travel agents encouraged some Indian nationals to go to Iraq, supposedly for working in the army camps there.”

The family members of about 40 youth from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, who were sent to Iraq by travel agents with the promise of jobs, filed a police complaint in Jalandhar last week, alleging that they had virtually been made “captive” and were forced to work to clear the battlefields strewn with used missiles, bomb shells and rocket launchers.

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