Foreign workers locked in house after allegedly “refusing to work and attempting to flee”

Police have discovered six foreign workers locked in a house after they were reportedly accused “of refusing to work and attempting to flee”.

All six of the male workers were found in a house located in the Male’ neighbourhood of Henveiru, according to local media.

While responding to a report made by a foreigner, the police discovered the the workers at approximately 10:30am Monday (April 8).

As the foreign workers exited the house, spectators claimed the workers had refused to do their jobs and as a result had not been receiving their salaries. The man responsible for the workers was also present, reported local media.

Immigration Controller Dr Mohamed Ali told Minivan News that police were investigating the case and would report back to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

“We are working on it,” Ali said.

Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef was not responding to calls at time of press.

The workers’ nationalities, the conditions of their employment and housing have yet to be confirmed.

Migrant workers

Last week the Department of Immigration said 57 unregistered foreign workers were detained by police on April 1 and were being processed by authorities ahead of a decision on whether they will face deportation.

In February, a Maldivian trade union alleged that corrupt immigration practices and the use of unregulated employment agencies by private and state employers was limiting efforts to curb abuse of migrant workers and prevent illegal practices such as retaining their passports.

The Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM) claimed that while companies are not permitted to retain the passports of foreign workers, some hospitality operators – as well as unregulated third party agencies and government ministries – are still keeping employee travel documents without consent.

At the same time, a source with knowledge of the current immigration system told Minivan News that the practice of retaining passports – a long-standing habit of Maldivian employers – was a key contributor to human trafficking in the country.

In May 2012, a total of 47 Bangladeshi nationals working for a local security firm were seized by the Department of Immigration as part of a wider crackdown on unregistered migrant workers.

Immigration officials at the time claimed that the company the men had been working for had been in operation for 10 -12 years, yet no information could be found on its operations during a subsequent investigation by authorities.

In 2010, it was claimed that the exploitation of foreign workers in the Maldives rivals fishing as the most profitable sector in the Maldivian economy after tourism.

Human trafficking

The Maldives has appeared on the US State Department’s Tier Two Watch List for Human Trafficking consecutively for three years. Should the Maldives drop to tier three – the worst category – then the country is expected to face significant reductions in aid and potential travel restrictions on its citizens.

The Maldivian government recently launched a special campaign intended to raise awareness of foreign workers’ rights, while earlier this year eight “fundamental” International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions were ratified in order to bring legislation on employee rights and trade unions in line with international standards.

However, independent institutions in the Maldives have maintained that the country – under successive governments – has yet to ratify a core convention on protecting migrant worker rights, while no legislation is in place to punish those involved in smuggling workers though the country’s borders.

The Prosecutor General (PG’s) Office has also confirmed that a lack of legislation has meant no cases have been prosecuted against human traffickers in the Maldives at present.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) has accused state and private sector employers in the country of lacking consistency in their efforts to address human trafficking, preventing “real” change in controlling illegal migration.

In January, President Waheed expressed concern about the rising number immigrants in the Maldives, claiming that the “foreign influence” threatens the country’s “Maldivianness”.


19 thoughts on “Foreign workers locked in house after allegedly “refusing to work and attempting to flee””

  1. Are we still saying racism doesn't exist in the Maldives?

    The way Maldivians treat foreign workers and their attitude towards foreign workers is disgusting. Another thing we seem to be stuck in the past about. Try running this country without them &* let's see how far we get then.

    Everyone is equal and fully deserves all protections, rights and respect enjoyed by everyone else. Including the right to express their religious views and worship too by the way. Which we have banned. Disgusting.

  2. Racism, slavery, hedonistic debauchery are the fruits of our religion. It is a must and not a crime!

  3. This has nothing to do with the racism .

    Some dubious employers like Jabir had not paid for some of his staffs for couple of months including Maldivian.

    It is not that these issues are only restricted to Foreigner but also for Maldivian too.

    But this also can not be generalized and there are many good payers who pay the salaries on time regardless of the nationality.

    Problem here is that Nasheed and his supporter want to ruin this country for some reason and do not think about the damage that they are doing to this country.

  4. Human rights matter to Maldivians whenever their Arab colonial masters tell them it is important. So you will see Maldivians one-sidedly and blindly championing the rights of Rohingya Muslims, Palestinians, al-Qaeda terrorists, Bangladeshi Islamists etc while conveniently forgetting Pakistani Christians, Saudi Shias, Afghani Hazaras, Bangladeshi atheists, Iranian homosexuals, Egyptian secularists etc.

    So it is no wonder that the rights of foreign workers matter little. Maldivians think of themselves as rich Saudi oil sheikhs and fat Kuwaiti Fatimas, who still haven't got over the Islamic slave trade.

    Pretty soon we'll have our own jaariyas and ghulams and the when we lose the tourist trade, maybe the mullahs will invest in the lucrative sex-slave trade. After all, we're at the cross-roads of Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Arab heartland.

  5. I see some people cannot tolerate anything here except what they want to hear and see

    Maldives is the most politically polarized country in the world yet they want democracy

  6. Its time Maldives have send this unwanted foreigners in Maldives because Maldives is not that rich country to so many poor in the country and the other this to stop violating human rights like making work not paying so many bagging for food We the MALDIVIANS cant have a street fud now because these foreigners come eat them before the Maldivians and its a lot

  7. Truth of reality sometimes is far from what appear in media.
    The reality of some of these expatriates refusing to work comes with certain unrealistic tones.
    Some of these expatriates, especially Bangladeshis, are brought to this country through a sort of "mafia", involving brokers, agents and officials who take a "cut" from the total sum brokers or agents lift from the expatriate.
    Brokers, agents and officials exist at both ends.
    Most of the time this is not known to the employer!
    In recent times, most of the Maldivian families, especially the rich and middle class in Male' and almost majority of families in many islands of the Maldives will already have at least one Bangladeshi employed in their household!
    When these families need an additional employee, they naturally will tell the already employed Bangladeshi to find a good person.
    This very employee from there on becomes a broker!
    If he/she does have a spare in the family, he/she will nominate the kin, yet he will tell the agent to collect the normal fees and follow the usual procedures!
    The kin who is being brought would never know he/she was being double crossed by his/her own blood!
    The agent would tell this kin, that there is a very good job somewhere and that he/she would get the moon, if it is wanted!
    That the kin will have to work 8 hours in 3 piece suits and will be drawing a thumping salary!
    With this dream, the kin arrives Maldives and finds that he/she is to work with a kin, as a subordinate, taking orders from both the employer and also the kin!
    The thumping salary promised is less than US$ 100/= with nothing extra and have to work nearly 18 hours a day, and must expect an extra call for any job at any hour of the remaining!
    This has happened and still is happening!
    And there are many more in store!
    Cases can be investigated, but, nothing is expected to change without the bureaucratic plunderers being changed and audited!
    I am sure that these expatriates will have a genuine story to tell!

  8. It is very common that foreigners passports are held by their employers. Isnt this against the international regulations or ethics? For what I know even the main hospital IGMH does it. I hope Minivan news can write an article on such maltreatment to foreigners by organisations in the Maldives.

  9. It will do sponcer wy I went police one of my employee working in other company that guy he want gp home l have taken tiket to him after that he jump from guest house awsy so l coud not find him. After 4months I found him he is working one of the shop I went the police. They said they can catch they will hand over me so how can I do.for him?. Aftet that I whet imigration they said y paid his visa fee & bring here who will responsible for visa? Sponcer or who is given work for him. I have paid diposit 800.rifiya for him y they cant send to home this was happen on 4 th Aprill then the sponcer can.kill him. NO one want clear that. Y evry were in maldives who have responsible do that he get.commison from who have unregister labor. So in maldives humantrafiking cant sald

  10. how many people had left the country with the money without the knowledge of the employers ?

    How many of these foreigners flee with large sum of money that were robbed from the company ?

    How many cases of this is being filed with the police ?

    Who is protecting the employers in such cases ?

    Is this only the country in the world who is acting like this ?

    How many times, Maldivian being harassed in europe despite being having valid visa ?

    How many countries in this world harass people at the immigration ?

    How many people had been victimized the child labour forced sex labour in this world ?

    Basic point is that in very country , things which are not right will happen and we can not generalize isolated incidence to blame the whole country.

    Here the problem is that both Nasheed and Minivan , the propaganda machine of Nasheed has been trying to tarnish the country image thinking that it is going to help them bring back Nasheed into the power.

  11. @kuribee

    the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. the answer is blowing in the wind.

  12. If these 'foreigners' are Indian the Indian government must look into the matter and take stringent closing down the visa section permanently!!
    It is about time the exploitation of Indians in backward countries.....that's you lot.....must stop.
    The Indian embassy in Male must record the names of employers who still illegally retain the passports of Indian workers and report the matter to the Maldivian government for urgent redress.
    Skilled Indian workers like doctors, teachers and engineers should think twice before accepting jobs in intolerant Maldives..... especially if they are not sunni muslims.

  13. Miss Inida, You are the first person that need to leave this country and set the example for others.

    But there are hundreds of Indian living and earning in this country without bothering. People like you are the people who need to be deported immediately.

    We are not living because of you or India . Even if India stops issuing VISA still, we will survive .

    Do think that Maldives exists because of India .

    Don't think just creating hate among the people is going to help India too and it is not going to help Maldives and neither India alike.

    You imagine how many people are employed in Maldives? Check what you unemployment rate in India.

    If you could have been able to provide the employment , they would not have even come to Maldives for the employment in the first place.

    Don't talk bullshits just get your name here

  14. Kuribee, I live in India (internet zindabad) and consider myself fortunate enough to not travel to third rate countries.....thats you lot search of a fourth rate job. I live in New Delhi so sadly you cannot deport me.....OK sunshine?
    If my language skills are a clue, do I sound like the sort of Indian who would travel to Maldives for a crummy, poorly paid job and have my passport taken away by some greedy people trafficker?
    I happen to be a professionally qualified hindu lady happily married to an equally qualified Iranian shia I met at Uni and we enjoy a standard of living in India that your elite can only dream about.....get my drift moron?
    So the next time you drone on about poor Indians desperate to work in the Maldives, please remember that there are millions of Indians like me too, educated and very I have said before there are more dollar millionaires in India than there are people in the Maldives.....a depressing thought for you eh?
    Show some repect for India and its people.....your future may depends on it.

  15. Kuribee if you and the rest of the lazy Maldivians got off their fat arses there would be no need for foreign workers to come to the Maldives.

    Trouble is you all think manual work is beneath you, but then come to think about it most of you haven't got the educational background to change a light bulb.

  16. "companies are not permitted to retain the passports of foreign workers"

    I wonder which resort DOES do that actually ?
    i know quite a few resort workers and no one out of the top managers have their passports and getting it is normally a big hurdle involving tons of paper work...


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