Crackdown on persons, firms trading in visas

January 30, 2013 - 1:34:47 am

DOHA: In a major crackdown on companies and individuals suspected of trading in work visas and indulging in other violations, the Ministry of Interior blacklisted 2,442 companies and 1,263 individuals last year.

The blacklisted companies and individuals also include those who were found employing runaway workers, refusing to provide or renew residency permits of their workers and pay to repatriate them.

The number of companies and individuals blacklisted is highest in recent memory. The blacklisted individuals face a blanket ban on recruiting workers on their personal sponsorship. 

The erring companies, on the other hand, have been asked to mend their ways and pledge to abide by the law, or remain on the blacklist for ever.

The Interior Ministry’s Search and Follow-Up Department (SFD) said in a press release that action has been taken since they flouted Law No. 4 of 2009 that regulates the entry, stay and sponsorship of foreign workers.

The erring firms and individuals were singled out during inspection drives conducted by the SFD which also initiated legal action against them in a bid to eliminate the menace of runaway workers.

The Ministry release said the SFD was intensifying its drive to comb out illegal workers and erring companies and individuals, and urged community members to cooperate by informing the authorities about runaway workers, or those leaving their workers to work elsewhere.

People can pass on information about suspected violations of Law No. 4 of 2009 on a 24-hour hotline (44695222) in Arabic, English or Urdu/Hindi.

The Ministry said its human rights wing, in a bid to promote basic rights and back the relationship between the workers and their sponsors within the framework of the law, has solved the problems of many workers.

Last year, sponsorship of 260 workers was transferred. Of them, 211 were temporary sponsorship change, while 49 were victims of abuse, so their sponsorship was changed permanently.

The Peninsula