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Hiring illegal maid lands UAE Indian expatriate sponsor in a fix

March 24, 2011 - Dubai

Hiring maids illegally in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can land the person or family hiring with a fine of 50,000 Dirhams.

According to a Gulf News report, the UAE has absolutely no laws to protect the sponsor in such a situation.

This is what one Indian expatriate family found when a maid they had hired recently through a recruitment agency in Abu Dhabi, vanished from their home.

Anjum Khan, a sales executive with a private company in Dubai, said she had spent over 15,000 Dirhams, including 7,000 Dirhams as agency fees, to sponsor Baiq Muksin, a maid from Indonesia.

"She came to us on January 18 this year, but went missing on March 3, the same day her visa got stamped. If the maid ran away because she was being mistreated, she would have gone to her embassy/consulate or to the agent as the agency had advised her to do so. However, she is now free to find illegal employment while we're left to foot a bill of Dh15, 000," said Khan.

"There's a Dh 50,000 fine for hiring illegal maids, yet there's no process or information available to sponsors on what to do in a situation like ours," she added.

Khan said the maid, who was hired to take care of her four-month-old daughter, disappeared when the family had gone out for some chores.

"When we informed police, we were asked to go to the Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Accordingly, we registered a case with them and submitted her passport," said Khan, adding that the maid had also left behind her original contract with the agency.

"We were concerned for her. But when we contacted the agency, we were told that they cannot do anything other than check if she had gone to the Indonesian Consulate," said Khan.

Elham Hamgi from the agency said: "We can do something only if the maid gets in touch with us or the consulate. Our agreement clearly says there is no guarantee or replacement in the case of a runaway maid."

han said since she and her husband are both working, she has no choice now but to enroll her four-month-old baby in a nursery.


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