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BAIRA demands withdrawal of ‘Dropbox’ system

Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) on Saturday rejected the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Dhaka’s decision to receive passports and stamping the visas through a third agency –Shapla Center.

The leaders of BAIRA gave announcement of not submitting passports to the embassy for its clearance.

In an emergency meeting of the BAIRA held at a city hotel, its President Md. Abul Bashar gave the announcement demanding cancellation of the embassy’s decision terming it as another initiative of syndication and termed the decision as illogical.

In the meeting, the leaders of BAIRA and its general members demanded to receive passports for the jobseekers in Saudi Arabia and stamping the visas through BAIRA or Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), if it is necessary.

Earlier in last week, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Dhaka gave its approval to receive passports and stamping the visas through Shapla Center, a private agency of a group of visa processing agencies of Bangladesh, claiming that it was decided to avert its pressure and unnecessary hassles of people.

According to the Saudi Embassy letter sent to different agencies, the decision of introducing the new ‘Dropbox’ system was effective from Saturday.

However, rejecting the process, BAIRA President Abul Bashar and Secretary General Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman on Thursday sent a letter to the embassy demanding cancellation of their new decision.

Criticizing some BAIRA leaders in the meeting for their alleged involvement with the Shapla Center, some BAIRA members demanded punitive measures and expulsion from the trade body of the recruiting agencies.

BAIRA President Md. Abul Bashar presided over the meeting while its secretary general Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman and joint secretary general Fakhrul Islam moderated.

Among others, senior vice president Reaz-Ul Islam, vice president Noman Chowdhury, former secretary general Ali Haider Chowdhury, leaders KM Tajul Islam, Abdul Alim, Siraj Miah, Moazzem Hossain, Abul Monsur Ahmed, Ahsanur Rahman Hasan, Nurul Islam Badsha, Anwar Hossain and Sazzad Hossain also spoke in the meeting.

In the meeting, secretary general Shamim Chowdhury Noman and vice president Noman Chowdhury assured that no one of the present BAIRA leaders are involved with the Shapla Center.

In his speech, Abul Bashar said, “More than 16 countries have been sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia. But, there is no passport receiving and visa stamping centers in the countries. So, Bangladeshi recruiting agencies will not allow any center called ‘Dropbox’ for the work. The Saudi Embassy must have to receive the passports and stamping the visas on behalf of their country.”

“If the embassy doesn’t change its decision of receiving passport and visa stamping through dropbox, country’s recruiting agencies will stop submitting passports to the embassy from Sunday (today). Those, who are involved with the system, will be punished and expelled from BAIRA,” he warned.