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Dhaka Tribune

Dreams of jobs on ships turn into nightmare

Update : 30 Apr 2014, 08:20 PM

Jinarul, a 19-year-old HSC passed boy, did not want to miss the opportunity for a job in Iran as he was offered a job on a ship by a middleman in his locality of Meherpur.

With the assistance of SH Tourist and Travel located in Amena Bhaban at Banani in the capital Jinarul went to Iran on January 12, 2014 to work on a ship by spending Tk3,50,000.

But when he reached Iran his dream turned into a nightmare.

He said if he had known he would have to face such hardship he had never gone there, said Jinarul in a voice of frustration while talking to the Dhaka Tribune at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) office in the capital yesterday.

He thought the work on a ship would be good with a handsome salary Tk1, 00,000 after one year.

“My uncles are rich and their sons stay in European countries including Italy. I dreamt of becoming rich unlike my father,” Jinarul said.

Before flying to Iran he demanded his visa but his recruiter told him he had nothing to do with the visa as he was going there for work.

He along with four other ill-fated migrants landed at Shiraj, an Iranian airport. An Iranian received them and handed them over to a Bangladeshi who said: “We would be given jobs on ships.”

“We were taken to Minar which is a city of Iran and I along with four others were confined to an underground room and all of our belongings were taken away. Our visas along with other documents were torn,” Jinarul said: “They stripped us and we were frisked.”

After three days he was given one bread. He was served with curry of cabbage and water twice a day sometimes every five to seven days. “I, however, was allowed to have a bath.

“They began to torment us for money and my father gave them Tk2, 50,000 through the SH Travels. They took away 1,000 dollars I carried with me for a training to work on ship.

“After one month and 10 days the middlemen sold us to other people and during the handover the CID of Iran rescued us and we were sent to jail.”

Zia who works with Bangladesh Embassy in Iran helped their release and kept them in a house and provided them necessary food for about two months before their repatriation.

Like Jinarul 21 Bangladeshi migrants who were taken hostage by a gang of human traffickers in Iran returned home yesterday morning. A number of workers told this correspondent harrowing stories during their stay in Iran.

A scheduled flight of Emirates carrying the migrant workers arrived at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 8am, Binoy Krishno, executive director of the Rights Jessore, said.

They were brought back home with the assistance of Bangladesh Embassy in Iran. The Criminal Investigation Department and Rights Jessore, a non-governmental organisation, helped the repatriation of the victims of human trafficking, he said.

The victims are Abu Sayed Khan of Chandpur, Aminul Islam of Jamalpur, Md Delu and Aminur Islam of Tangail, Rofiqul Islam of Bogra, Arman Hossain of Companiganj in Noakhali, Jinarul and Md Shahin of Gangni in Meherpur, Aktaruzzaman of Chowgachha in Jessore, Ataur Rahman of Bagerhat, Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan of Kishoreganj, Akram Fakir of Gopalganj, Sohel Miah of Char Chaburiapara in Narsingdi, Akmal Hossain of Kushtia, Ruhul Amin of Rajbari, Md Tahaz Uddin of Meherpur, Md Nazrul of Sakhipur in Tangail, Mamunur Rashid of Dhamurhat and Shahidul of Badalgachhi in Naogaon and Abdur Razzak, Rohidul Islam of Rajshahi and Sallahuddin. 

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