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45-Yr-Old Truck Driver Stranded In Saudi Arabia

A driver from Bangalore who travelled to the Gulf to work two years ago is now stranded in Saudi Arabia as he was cheated by his employer.

Rajendra Singh Munshi, 45 a native of Haryana who worked as a truck driver in the city is the latest victim of human trafficking.

Singh the only bread earner of his family in 2015 had approached a relative of his Raju who lives in Saudi Arabia for a job.

Inturn Raju had assured him a job in Riyadh and had asked him to pay Rs 1. 35 lakh to a travel agent for passport, Visa related work.

“On November 10, 2015, Singh travelled to Riyadh via Abu Dhabi on tourist visa which was valid for 90 days. He was assured a minimum salary of 1200 riyal along with 800 for food and a place to stay. He was employed with a businessman named Thressal Japani, but his employer did not give him a work permit which is mandatory for working in Saudi Arabia.

Singh who is a class 5 dropout was not aware of the legalities and was assured by Japani and Raju that all formalities are on track,” said representatives of Talaash Association, an NGO which is working to bring him back to India.

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Singh’s family had approached the association in Bengaluru.

Singh was appointed by Japani to drive his truck. But four months later Japani started harassing him.

He also threw him out of the accommodation that provided to him and also withheld his salary.

To add to this misery, Singh’s driving licence and work permit was not processed by his employer and when he was caught by the Saudi police driving a truck was fined 8400 riyals.

“When Singh approached Japani to bail him out his he was sacked from his job.

Japani did not even return his passport and for 14 months he was penniless, homeless in an unknown country. Besides he was compelled to sleep in truck or on road.

Singh had approached Indian Embassy almost five months back, but nothing has been done. Now, after his wife Sunita Devi approached us, we are coordinating with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to arrange his safe return,” Seema Diwan, President, Talaash Association said.

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