Bangladeshis lured with jobs in Europe end in Syrian prisons

Saddif Ovee
Published : 07:30, Nov 02, 2018 | Updated : 19:59, Nov 02, 2018

Around fifty people have been trafficked to Syria with false promises of settlement in Europe. The trafficking group brought the unsuspecting people near the Turkish-Syria border and handed them over to law enforcers, who then sent them to Syrian prisons.
While 29 have come back, others are still in jail. The embassy in Lebanon is trying to rescue the remaining people.
The Bangladesh embassy came to know of the unfortunate people when they were investigating the reported trafficking of a woman, her daughter and a few other people.
After prolonged efforts, 29 persons were sent back. One returnee, Saddam Hossain, says, “I was given the promise of a job in Europe in exchange for $ 2600.”
Since the highest amount to earn in Lebanon does not exceed Tk. 10 to 12 thousand, I decided to go, said Saddam.
It’s believed that women and children are main targets of traffickers because they can be forced to engage in prostitution.
UNHCR says that the highest number of refugees tried to enter Europe from Syria with around 10 lakh asylum seekers in 2017.
After civil war began in Syria in 2011, countless people crossed the Mediterranean and exploiting this mass entry, many unscrupulous middlemen started to push in Bangladeshis.
While some managed to cross over to Europe, most are stuck in Syria.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, sent a letter to the expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry and the home ministry to take steps against trafficking syndicates.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said, “We always tell people going abroad to follow government rules and regulations; those who circumvent the laws become victims of trafficking.”