A group of Bangladeshi workers have assaulted their manpower agent named Kamrul Hasan in in the labour wing of Bangladesh High Commission in Brunei on August 21, said officials.
On August 19, 2019, expatriate workers named Masuk, Md Mustak Kamal, Omar Faruk, Jaher Sheikh, Rafiqul Islam, Md. Awal, Serajul Islam and Firoj Miah came to the labour wing of the mission to lodge complaint as to the unemployment as well as non-payment of long pending wages against their agent Kamrul Hasan, explained Bangladesh High Commission.
Bangladesh High Commissioner in Brunei Air vice Martial (retd) Mahmud Hossain in a recent letter to the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas ministry secretary said that Kamrul Hasan was a sub-agent of Abdur Rahim who has been running a racket of visa trading and human trafficking in Brunei.
When kamrul Hasan was contacted over phone from the labour wing for appearing a hearing on the labour complaints, Kamrul started playing around and killing time, the letter says.
‘Later on the labour wing alongside asking the accused for showing up in the pending hearing, served a written notice upon the accused agent for explaining his position as to why the lawful authority will not be intimidated for the cancelation of his passport due to his non-compliance with the calls of the mission.’
Only upon the service of the written notice, the accused agent together with his few cronies appeared in a hearing conducted by welfare assistant Kayes, it says.
During the hearing, the agent and aggrieved eight workers had an altercation concerning their migration cost and the promised jobs as well as salaries.
At sudden turn of the event, the eight workers gave a light beating to their agent Kamrul Hasan and friends of Kamrul secretly took video of their phone and made it viral in Bangladeshi media.
As the incident took place in the office room of Abdullah Al Rashid, administrative officer of labour wing and during his presence in the room, the officer has been suspended from all works with labourers and their brokers.
Meanwhile, a one-member inquiry committee has been formed to delve into the incident with the head of chancery as its head.
Bangladesh mission informed that the situation of the expatriate workers in Brunei is getting worse every day due to lack of remedial measures on the part of host government.
‘The mission is going to have a comprehensive meeting with high officials of Brunei,’ it mentions.
Last year the labour wing gave certification of 4500 workers’ employment visas but extra 10,000 workers have landed in Brunei without prior attestation of visa, the letter says.
The recently the mission has written an in-depth letter to the ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas about the labour affairs in Brunei and way out.
The mission feels that once coordinated efforts among concerned agencies, including the ministry of home affairs are made to address the existing labour problems, the situation is sure to improve.
About 30,000 Bangladeshi workers are currently working in Brunei with most of them employed in the construction sector, according to the Bangladesh High Commission.