One hundred and twelve Bangladeshi workers stranded in Vietnam returned home on Tuesday in a special US Bangla flight at 4pm, confirmed Kamrul Islam, general manager (Public Relations) of the airlines.
Among the returnees, 107 were stranded in Vietnam in search of jobs and the rest of the five were stranded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, read a press release issued by the Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi.
The embassy organised the repatriation process to bring the stranded Bangladeshis home with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment.
"The Vietnam government recovered the passport of illegal workers, waived penalties applicable for staying beyond their visa period, and gave exit permission following the request of the Bangladesh Embassy," read the release.
In the recent months, hundreds of Bangladeshis claimed that they were not given the proper jobs and salary in Vietnam as promised by the agents.
The workers went there with the emigration clearance card from the Bureau of Manpower, Employment, and Training (BMET), the regulatory authority of manpower recruiting agencies.
Local middlemen had promised the victims that they would be sent to Vietnam on work permits. However, the victims soon learned that they had business visas of three months instead, and the middlemen in Vietnam confiscated their passports and clearance cards once they reached the country.
The victims claimed that although they had worked in different places for certain periods of time, they did not get any salary. Many of the workers reported facing physical abuse as well.
Under such circumstances, the Bangladeshi workers requested the embassy to help them return home.
Around 1,174 Bangladeshis went there through the same process from January last year to March this year, according to an estimation of the BMET. The institution has identified involved recruiting agencies that sent those workers to Vietnam.