Saudi contractor claims his visas stolen and sold' Hun Fer Mojaan E Mojaan


Minister (2k+ posts)
By Arab News
HAFR AL-BATIN: More than 100 work visas were stolen from a contracting company within days after they were approved.

The Labor Office in Hafr Al-Batin issued the visas to a contracting company to recruit workers from various countries a few days ago. However, soon after issuance the visas were stolen and sold.

They were sold on my behalf, but without my knowledge, for an estimated price of SR1 million, said the owner of the contracting company Mishaal Al-Shoraie.

Al-Shoraie learned after some inquiries that a notary office in east Riyadh endorsed the authorizations to two bogus recruiting agencies in Riyadh and Dammam, Al-Eqitsadiah reported on Sunday.

The reaction to such shoddy practices was swift from the business circles.

It is a good thing that the victim was able to file a complaint about this whole mess, otherwise who knows what the end result would have been, 36-year-old Mansour, a wholesaler based in Jeddah, told Arab News.

Personally I hope those involved in obtaining these work permits illegally from this victim are severely punished, he added.

Adel Omar, a small business owner in Jeddah, too was critical of the lax checks in issuing visas.

This certainly is shocking news. These permits were sold to different business owners without the authorities knowledge. For a small business owner, this could be devastating in every sense of the word, he said.

However, another construction industry source, who did not wish to be named, told Arab News: In the construction business, and particularly when it comes to hiring construction labor, this kind of behavior is not uncommon.

He said it was unfortunate what happened to this business owner, but people want to find jobs during this construction boom, no matter where the permits come from.

The fraudsters modus operandi was simple.

They used the names of imaginary recruitment agencies to obtain the documents endorsed by the notary office in east Riyadh, the contractor said.

When he went to Riyadh to obtain more details of the fraudulent agencies two days after reporting the theft, he was in for another shock after he found many visas in his name had been sold by a Makkah-based recruitment agency after obtaining an endorsement from the same notary office in Riyadh.

The businessman said he first learned of the scam when he went to receive the original visa documents from the Labor Office in Hafr Al-Batin.

The computer system at the labor office did not respond to the request to issue the visa documents, which apparently indicated that someone else had received the original documents from another office, he said.

However, Al-Shoraie never authorized any agent to receive the documents on his behalf. According to a source, the authorization documents of a visa would be issued to anyone if all details about the visas are supplied and an authorization fee of SR150 paid.

He added that private recruitment offices have the facility to receive authorizations online without the permission of the original owner of the visas.

Al-Shoraie said he demanded a halt to the processing of visas at the Saudi missions in the countries from where the workers were to be recruited and also asked the chambers of commerce to suspend other recruitment formalities related to the stolen visas.

Al-Shoraie wondered how a notary office could endorse the visa to a non-existent recruitment agency when it should have a list of all registered agencies.

He said he was upset because his company had been contracted to complete a number of projects with specific deadlines and that now because of the lack of workers he would have to suffer huge losses.

Sultan Al-Tamimi contributed to this report
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