Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

Untold sufferings of Kuwait bound travelers

Embassy officials earned by unofficial 'Hot Service'

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Gazi Anowarul Hoque :
Kuwait bound travelers, who are expecting visa from Bangladesh, are suffering and facing harassments due to embassy irregularities.
According to some Kuwait bound travelers from Bangladesh, as the embassy has introduced unofficial 'Hot Service' for issuing visa, the suffering and harassment of travelers are mounting gradually.
There are allegations that by introducing 'Hot Services' for giving entry visa for Bangladeshi workers and allowing visas for the medically unfit applicants, Officials of the Kuwait embassy are making money illegally and sending to their home country by using illegal means like 'Hundi'.
On the other hand, local recruiting agents, visa processors generally are not receiving same preferences to get the 'Hot Service' from the embassy in Bangladesh. To get this special service from the embassy, for each passport it requires paying additional Tk 10,000 and the payee gets the special service of visa within five to six hours. But few recruiting agencies and agents only are getting such preference from the embassy according to a recent discovery.
Visa Officer of Kuwait embassy told media that visa applicants were receiving visa without any harassment. Due to technical complexities, it may take a bit time in some cases, but he is not aware of any service known as hot service in the embassy.
He asserted, if any visa recipient faces any harassment, it should contact the embassy and it will be addressed as soon as possible.       
On the other hand, embassy staff Md Jahangir who works as a messenger there denied his relevance with the matter and said he could not disburse any information on the issue which the higher officials can.
"I work according to the instructions of the higher officials of the embassy," he said.  
While there are allegations that though the issue of 'Hot Service' was known to the related ministry and the higher officials of the embassy, the state of sufferings and harassments still exist and remained unaddressed. It resulted travelers with additional sufferings and increased cost which is affecting manpower export process from Bangladesh.
Sources said, Kuwait bound labourers from Bangladesh acquire visa with their own efforts and process it with the help of the local recruiting agencies. In the stage of visa processing, travelers need to submit work permit issued from Kuwait, Police clearance, Medical certificate to the embassy for obtaining entry visa from the embassy.
But, embassy approved recruiting agents could not confirm the scheduled date, time schedule and flight date to the travelers from Bangladesh. As a result, obtaining entry visa from the embassy takes unlimited time which prolongs to months. Due to availability of such 'Hot Service' which delivers entry visa within 5 to 6 days, travelers pay additional amount and process visa early.   
Primary investigation has revealed that some embassy insiders are doing the brisk business with the cooperation of some selected recruiting firms of Bangladesh. It is causing general travelers sufferings and harassments. They are losing confidence on the recruiting agents who are not associated with the 'Hot Service'. Moreover, there are no systematic schedule of accepting and delivering passport from the embassy with decelerated timeframe hindering local agents business. There are also allegations that by paying a good amount of money to the visa officers some medically unfit travelers are obtaining visa from embassy which is illegal and punishable according to immigration rules and regulations of Kuwait and Bangladesh.  

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