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Lankans eyeing Gulf jobs warned against con agents

The Sri Lankan government has warned its citizens against traveling to the Middle East for work on Umrah and tourist visas.
It has said it would not be responsible for those who use their visit visas to seek foreign employment.
Mangala Randeniya, deputy general manager and media spokesman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), told Arab News from Colombo that seeking work on such visas is a new problem that the bureau is facing recently.
The SLBFE is a statutory body that looks after the interests of Sri Lankans working abroad. Sri Lankan workers who are selected for employment abroad are expected to register with the bureau upon payment of a minor fee.
Randeniya warned citizens to be wary of unscrupulous agents, who promise lucrative employment in countries such as Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and lure the workers to travel on tourist visas, only to leave them in the lurch.
“Since tourist visas are strictly controlled in Saudi Arabia, workers typically find work through Haj or Umrah visas,” he said.
Randeniya said many had fallen victims to fraud and sexual exploitation. Sri Lankans planning to go abroad for employment have been advised to check with the SLBFE on the status of employment visas, job agreements and registration, he said.
There are some one million Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East, 40 percent of whom are in the Kingdom.

The Sri Lankan government has warned its citizens against traveling to the Middle East for work on Umrah and tourist visas.
It has said it would not be responsible for those who use their visit visas to seek foreign employment.
Mangala Randeniya, deputy general manager and media spokesman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), told Arab News from Colombo that seeking work on such visas is a new problem that the bureau is facing recently.
The SLBFE is a statutory body that looks after the interests of Sri Lankans working abroad. Sri Lankan workers who are selected for employment abroad are expected to register with the bureau upon payment of a minor fee.
Randeniya warned citizens to be wary of unscrupulous agents, who promise lucrative employment in countries such as Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and lure the workers to travel on tourist visas, only to leave them in the lurch.
“Since tourist visas are strictly controlled in Saudi Arabia, workers typically find work through Haj or Umrah visas,” he said.
Randeniya said many had fallen victims to fraud and sexual exploitation. Sri Lankans planning to go abroad for employment have been advised to check with the SLBFE on the status of employment visas, job agreements and registration, he said.
There are some one million Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East, 40 percent of whom are in the Kingdom.

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