At Dhumbarahi on Tuesday evening, the DOFE officials finally got a call from one of the migrants inside, indicating that they had handed over the money to the recruiters and it was all right for them to enter. The raiding team rushed in, ordered the security guard to shut the gates and caught Manaslu’s management red-handed with the money.
The DOFE team had already made photocopies of all the bank notes that Karki and Singh were handing over to the recruiters. The officials found that the numbers on the planted money matched the cash that was retrieved from the recruiter’s drawer.
The case was documented in the presence of Manaslu management, and signatures obtained. Staff at the recruitment agency looked shocked, and admitted that in their 20 years in the business this was the first time something like this had happened.
The owners were summoned to DOFE the next morning. They will now be required to send the migrants to Saudi Arabia at the legally allowed fee of Rs10,000, and their activities will be suspended for up to a maximum of six months until the case is fully resolved.
To cope with similar complaints of extortion like this, DOFE has set up a well-equipped and trained sting unit to monitor illegal over-charging and gouging of desperate migrant workers. Their operations range from regular monitoring, surprise inspections, or just like in this case, sting operations that can take place at any time and day based on complaints received.