Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, has disclosed that security agencies are tracking down recruitment agencies and travel and tour companies involved in sending people to the Gulf Region under the pretext of engaging them in secured jobs.
According to him, about 500 Ghanaian are stranded in Dubai, after they were left to their fate by recruitment agencies.
The Minister made the disclosure at a press briefing and added that Government has learnt recruitment agencies charge between GH¢8,000 and GH¢15,000 to procure travel documents and travel visas for people to travel to Dubai.
The recruitment agencies, he said, solicit assistance of travel and tour operators, who act as sponsors of visa applications for a fee but the visas they secure are tourist visas, which have only three months validity.
According to him, on arrival in Dubai, corresponding agents take charge and request for additional 1,000 Dirhams to cover accommodation for one month, while the job seeker is left to embark on job search contrary to promises of an assured job.
“Given that the validity of UAE tourist visas is within three months, most Ghanaians are unable to secure work within the period, hence become illegal residents,” he said.
The Minister indicated that their illegal immigration status obliges them to pay for any extra day spent in excess of their visa term, at US$95 for the extra day and US$30 per day for any additional day spent in the UAE when they want to leave the country.
This, he said, is what has compelled the 500 Ghanaians to become stranded in the gulf state.
He indicated that the Consulate-General in Dubai has been in regular contact with the stranded Ghanaians and is working to get them the necessary support to return home.
“We wish to remind Ghanaians that the ban on exportation of labour from Ghana to the gulf is still in place.”
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, the Minister said, are working to ensure that bilateral agreements are reached between Ghana and the states in the gulf before the ban is lifted.