THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was a two-line advertisement in a leading vernacular daily offering jobs in Qatar airport that lured over a hundred overseas job seekers to a job racket that has been thriving right in the state capital and syphoned off about Rs 10 lakh in a short span. Over these years Kerala had witnessed scores of overseas job cheating cases. Even then many still fall prey to such traps. It is not only the lack of alertness among them but the absence of an effective enforcement system that helps such rackets to thrive. Anilkumar, the one who managed to syphon off nearly Rs 10 lakh, was held for a similar job cheating in Kollam last year. He is also an accused in a murder case. Even then, he managed to operate in the city for almost five months.
With no effective checking systems in place, anyone could easily open a shop and put up a board of a recruiting agency in Kerala. Anilkumar even used the registration number of a genuine firm in Delhi. “To confirm its veracity, I had checked the registration number they displayed with the NORKA office. They said that the number was that of an agency in Delhi with the same name and the one in Thiruvananthapuram could be its regional centre. Hence I made the initial payment of Rs 10,000,” said Attingal native Vysakh who even quit his job in Dubai attracted by the “Qatar airport” offer. Police sources said the local bodies concerned should be more vigilant against such frauds.
“The busted agency was working hassle free since May without any registration. Had the local body checked their veracity, the cheating could have been averted,” said Museum circle inspector B. Anilkumar. The two offices of Protector of Emigrants (PoE), one in Thiruvananthapuram and another in Kochi, are also bound to check the malpractices in overseas recruitment. But with hardly five staff, it is impractical for them to act proactively. “We are promptly acting on complaints that we receive. Also, we used to assist candidates who approach us to check the genuineness of recruiters. However, physically checking all recruiting agencies on a routine basis is not practical,” said an official at the PoE.
Though it is mandatory that recruitment advertisements for ‘emigration clearance required’ categories of jobs should be published only with the permission of the emigration authorities, it is followed more in the breach. “The media should also show some caution in releasing such ads,” said the CI. The modus operandi of most of the rackets is to demand only a comparatively lesser amount as initial instalment so that they can easily lure preys. One intention of such a modus operandi is to attract more customers. Moreover, many victims may even tend not to complain. In the present case, the initial demand was Rs 10,000 as advance and over 100 persons deposited the amount with nine separate bank
accounts operated by the accused.
In the case of any suspicion whether a recruiting agency is genuine or fake, individuals could check on the website 'emigrate.gov.in'. List of all registered recruiting agencies in the country is available here - protector of emigrants (Thiruvananthapuram) A. Pradeep.
Norka-Roots to modify job portal
Norka-Roots, the field agency of the non-resident Keralites affairs (Norka) department, has decided to strengthen its job portal and conduct more recruitment campaigns by spending Rs 50 lakh. Norka secretary Usha Titus said that apart from nurse and female domestic workers recruitment, Norka-Roots would be ready to take up recruitment to other sectors also. "We will be reaching out to more employers requesting them to place their demands through Norka-Roots. We would also consider asking NRI businessmen on the Norka-Roots director board to place their orders through it," said Ms Titus, who is also holding charge of its chief executive officer.
The government has given sanction for a Rs 50 lakh project for strengthening its job portal - jobsnorka.gov.in. Modifying the portal by increasing its interface and adding user-friendly features like job alerts is one component of the project, which also involved finding more overseas employers, conducting job fairs and recruitment campaigns. Norka-Roots has been involved in the recruitment of nurses since last year after the Centre decided to restrict it to government agencies. However, only around 500 nurses could be recruited by Norka-Roots so far as many foreign employers had not yet placed demands through the e-Migrate portal. Recently, the Centre also decided to restrict recruitment of female domestic workers to Gulf countries also through state-run agencies, including Norka-Roots. "We will consider asking the NRI businessmen on the board of Norka-Roots to place their demands through our job portal," Norka secretary Usha Titus said.