By Rahman Jahangir.
Dhaka, 15 November:
The Libyan Embassy in Dhaka has denied allegations that it has been issuing fake visas and other . . .[restrict]falsified documentation to Bangladeshis looking to work in Libya, claiming that shady recruitment agencies were to blame.
Bangladeshi nationals are said to have been exposed to punitive legal action, including imprisonment, as a result of the alleged racket, with many deported home in recent weeks.
“The Libyan embassy did not issue and never issues any fake visas, but some manpower employment agencies are falsifying visas”, said Kamel Al-Mahjoub, the embassy’s charge d’affaires, speaking from Dhaka’s Westin Hotel.
With the embassy’s translator and officer for the consular section also present, Mahjoub struck a combative tone. “We will cooperate with all those who cooperate with us to fight the forgeries,” he said, adding that the embassy has already delivered a sealed list of correct visas, issued by the embassy to the department of passports and other related sections in Bangladesh.
Back in July, Mahjoub was forced to publicly deny allegations that he had fled Bangladesh after misappropriating some 1 million Taka (15,500 dinars) paid for by Bangladeshis for Libyan work visas.
On 24 October, three Libyans were arrested along with a Bangladeshi woman, said to have been a model, in possession of 684 fake Bangladeshi passports, $200,000-worth of US and local currency and other valuables. All three men were charged with fraudulently offering Bangladeshis jobs in Libya and confessed to being in the manpower recruitment business.
Some 30,000 Bangladeshi nationals fled Libya following the outbreak of the revolution last year, whilst almost half that number have subsequently re-entered the country.
Officially, Bangladesh sent a total of 14,610 workers to Libya with jobs between January and October of this year. In the past three months alone, 247 are known to have been found in possession of fake visas and deported, 183 in August, nine in September and 55 in October.