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49 stranded Indian workers repatriated from UAE: Report

A total of 49 Indians, who were stranded for several months in the UAE after being abandoned by their employers, have been repatriated after the Indian mission here helped them secure their passports and security deposits from two companies, a media report said on Tuesday.

The expats were abandoned and unpaid for the last six months after two Dubai-based carpentry firms owned by Indians shut during the coronavirus pandemic without informing their staff, the Gulf News reported.

Left to fend for themselves, the expats reached out to the Indian Consulate in Dubai in July and sought help to return home.

“The workers had been in dire straits after the companies were shut and the Indian employer went unreachable. They had not been paid for about six months and they reached out to the consulate for help to return home,” Neeraj Agrawal, Consul for Press, Information and Culture, was quoted as saying in the report.

He said the mission had provided food supplies to the workers since July.

“However, the workers’ passports were still under the custody of the companies. Though the owner was not reachable, the consulate somehow contacted the PROs of the firms and the workers’ passports and security deposits (3,000 dirhams each) were taken with the support of Dubai Police and Al Adheed Centre of Dubai Courts which provides services related to labour disputes,” he said.