Despite the government tightening screws on people leaving for foreign employment on individual permits, there has been a 14.83 per cent increase in the number of fraud cases in the first five months of this fiscal as compared to the last fiscal.
The Department of Foreign Employment says 449 cases were filed seeking compensation of Rs 223.9 million from middlemen and agents duping foreign job aspirants this fiscal. In the same period of the last fiscal, 319 cases were filed.
Though there has been a decline in number of aspirants seeking jobs abroad on individual permits, instances of cheating have gone up. Job aspirants can leave for foreign shores through institutional mediation of recruiting agencies, personal channels or individual contacts by acquiring an individual permit. After cases of workers being cheated by middlemen increased, the government made it tough to obtain individual permit. Similarly, after cases of Nepali women facing abuse and exploitation from employers surfaced, the government imposed a ban on women going for domestic work to Gulf nations in July. This led to a decline in workers acquiring individual permits by 45 per cent this year.
DoFE said 3,752 workers, including 418 women, received individual work permits this fiscal, against a total of 6,727 permits in the same period last year.
Raghu Raj Kafle, executive director of Foreign Employment Promotion Board, said cases of workers being cheated might have gone up due to false promises made by middlemen and lack of awareness.
No matter which channel they use to leave for foreign employment, workers can file a case at DoFE if they are cheated. “The number of fraud cases might also have gone up due to older cases being filed only during the five months of the current fiscal,” said Kafle. The failure by aspirants to properly check job offers and legality of documents and lack of knowledge about pre-departure preparation are behind cases of aspirants being cheated.
Charges of cheating against foreign employment agencies have also gone up. Aspirants swindled by such agencies have filed 775 cases at DoFE seeking compensation of Rs 93.95 million, against 532 cases in the same period last year seeking compensation of Rs 87.26 million.
According to DoFE, 225,977 individuals, including 3,752 aspirants receiving individual permits, left abroad for work in the review period. In the corresponding period last year, 170,763 individuals had left the country for jobs in foreign labour destinations.