At least 175 Bangladeshi workers were deported from Saudi Arabia on Sunday night as the Saudi authorities launched crackdown against documented and undocumented expatriate.
The workers were sent back to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a scheduled flight of Saudi Airline (SV-804) at 11.07pm on Sunday, said officials.
The workers said that they were forcibly arrested by police despite having valid work permit and sent to police custody.
However, some workers said that they failed to renew their work permits due to high charges imposed by their employers. The returnee workers who were mostly from Tangail, Narsingdi, Laxmipur, Noakhali, Munshiganj, Madaripur and Meherpur districts also said that they were yet to get any help from Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh.
On his return, worker Delwar Hossain of Madaripur said that he along with other 32 Bangladeshi workers had been arrested by Saudi Police from his living area in Riyadh.
‘Though I had Iqama (work permit) with six month validity, I was arrested from a shopping mall where I went to shop something in the afternoon after performing my duty,’ he said.
Delwar who had been working as security guard at residence of Saudi citizen for 11 years, was sent back home on Sunday night. He said that the crackdown started three months ago and situation got worse recently.
BRAC migration programme officials posted at the HSIA received the returned migrants after arrival at airport and also provided them some humanitarian supports to reach their home.
Saudi Arabia is the largest destination for the Bangladeshi workers. Over 20 lakh Bangladeshis are currently working in this Arab country, said officials.