A Pakistani expatriate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) turned good Samaritan when he helped two Indians who have been cheated by a fake recruitment agent.
Mohamed Asadullah, a Pakistani Quran teacher, has been helping the duped Indian job seekers, Mohammed Usman and Sivakumar, with their accommodation and food.
"They came here with their agent after I put an advertisement for vacant spaces at the villa. I then realised that they have been duped. I wanted to help them with whatever I could offer," Asadullah was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times on Monday.
"Sharing my food with them is the least I could do. I have been asking my Indian friends to help these guys find a way out. Being an illegal resident is a crime in the UAE. And if they can sort that out faster, the better."
The woes of Usman and Sivakumar started after they found an agent through an advertisement on a Tamil TV channel.
Initially, they were not supposed to go to the UAE. Noor Mohammed, the travel agent, asked both of them to pay Rs 2 lakh each for the processing of their visas to Australia.
When the processing got delayed several times, Mohammed told them it was due to technical difficulties in immigration. They were then asked for multiple amounts of money in different instalments to continue the process.
Lands in Thailand
At first, the duo were provided with tickets to Thailand, telling them that their Australian visa would arrive soon. But they were not allowed to enter the country as they did not meet the requirements for visa-on-arrival.
Stranded at the airport, the duo returned to India after making a distress call and asking their relatives to purchase return tickets for them.
When Usman and Sivakumar asked the travel agent to return their money - almost Rs 7 lakh each - the agent told them that Australian visa is ready, and travelling via the UAE would be a "better route".
He also told them that he had secured their UAE tourist visas to ensure that there would be no hassle.
When they reached the UAE, the duo were given accommodation in Al Nuaimiya in Ajman. The agent, who gave them 50 dirhams, never returned.
"We arrived here on May 1, expecting a better life. Now, we live in the cramped quarters of an old villa. We have overstayed for quite a long time and don't know what to do. We believed our travel agent, but he duped us," said Sivakumar.
Usman and Sivakumar from the south Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, respectively, are another pair of Indians who got duped by fake recruitment agents who promised them secure jobs and a stable income.