Twenty-six year old Afzal paid Tk3,70,000 to go to Saudi. When he left Dhaka, he had high hopes of earning a fortune in the Kingdom. But when he returned yesterday, two and a half month after his departure, he came home with shattered dreams and an empty pocket.
Another passenger, Kamrul hailing from Brahmanbaria, narrated the same story. He paid Tk4,60,000 and returned home without a penny.
As many as 125 Bangladeshis have returned to Dhaka on Friday. They arrived at 11.20pm in a Saudi Airlines flight 804. So far, 2,615 Bangladeshis have been deported from Saudi in the first three weeks of November.
BRAC Migration Programme, with help from the Expatriate Welfare Desk at Dhaka airport, provided the passengers with food, water and necessary assistance to reach home safe safely.
According to records from Expatriate Welfare Desk at the airport and BRAC, around 21,000 Bangladeshis have returned from Saudi till October this year.
Talking to reporters, Nandan Kumar, hailing from Cumilla, said he used to work at a Barbar's shop for two years. He had paid 6,500 Saudi Riyal to his employer before his Iqama (work permit) expired. But his employer did not renew his permit. After his arrest, when he called the employer, he refused to take any responsibility of Nandan.
Montu Mia from Brahmanbaria, Syedul Islam, Nayeem from Narshingdi, Faruk Hossain from Habiganj and Saiful Islam from Dhaka. They all complained that their employers did not take any steps to renew their work permits.
"They are rather getting our visas cancelled and causing us to be deported to Bangladesh," the returnees said.
Contacted, Shariful Islam, head of Migration Programme at BRAC, said, "we are hoping the upcoming bilateral talks between Bangladesh and Saudi will also discuss male workers, in addition to female.
The two countries will have to work together to stop deception in the name of free visa, he added.