• Friday, Feb 03, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Saudi Arabia deports 145 more Bangladeshis

  • Published at 06:47 am February 16th, 2020
Saudi Arabia female migrant workers
File photo: Female migrant workers who have returned from Saudi Arabia, at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Monday; October 15, 2018 Mehedi Hassan/Dhaka Tribune

At least 300 of these returnees are women

Saudi Arabia has deported another batch of 145 Bangladeshis, totalling 5,500 sent back home since the beginning of this year.

A Saudi Airlines flight landed at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport in Dhaka with them, early Sunday.

Md Shahidul Islam, one of the deportees, said he had gone to the kingdom three months ago for a driving job but was sent back empty handed without any explanation.

Brac Migration Programme provided emergency help to the returnees with the assistance of the expatriate welfare desk.

Shariful Hasan, who heads the migration program, said a total of 5,500 Bangladeshis had been sent back from Saudi Arabia since January – many of them within the first three months.

At least 300 of these returnees are women.

Last year, 64,638 Bangladeshi workers were sent back home from various countries, according to government data. Of them, 25,789 were deported from Saudi Arabia.

Last year, 700,159 Bangladeshis found jobs abroad. The majority of them, 399,000 or 57%, had gone to Saudi Arabia, according to the government.

Bangladeshis working abroad sent home $18.355 billion last year. Of the amount, 19.87% or $3.65 billion, came from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi returnees alleged that Saudi police detained them from their workplaces, markets, and shopping malls, or on their way there. 

They did not bother to check their Iqama' (it is a legal residency permit that allows expats to live and work in Saudi Arabia), they said.

They also said that many of them had valid work permits. After the expiry of the Iqama, many could not renew those, as some brokers were demanding more, higher than the rate fixed by the Saudi government.

One of the returnees, Harun-or-Rashid, a resident of Noakhali's Begumganj upazila, told Dhaka Tribune that Saudi police sent him back after detention though he had a valid work permit.

Another Khalilur Rahman, a resident of Chauddagram upazila in Comilla, said he could not manage to renew his permit despite trying for two and a half years. 

“The brokers demand the amount they earn annually,” he added.

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