(MENAFN - Arab News) Seven Indian workers, some of whom in violation of visa regulations and the rest cheated by their sponsors, were released from the Abha detention center. Four of them flew home on Friday morning.
"Of a total of 22 Indian inmates in the Abha detention center, only seven are eligible to return home," said Indian social worker Ashraf Kutichal.
He confirmed that seven inmates were released by the deportation authorities on Thursday and that the Abha Chapter of the OICC (Overseas Indian Cultural Congress) paid SR1,000 each for the release of the expatriates as penalty for not being in possession of a valid iqama (residency permit). Ashraf said that the remaining 15 face various charges and so won't be able to leave the Kingdom.
"We are very happy going back home," one of the workers told Arab News. "We faced a lot of difficulties because of the adverse conditions. It was very cold inside the deportation center, especially at night," he said.
"I was going to the labor court to show my passport which I finally received from my sponsor but without an exit stamp. I was suddenly apprehended by the security patrols who brought me to the deportation center where I have spent 55 days," said Mohammed Shamsuddin from Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
He told Arab News that he had come to the Kingdom to work as a welder two and half years ago but had a problem with his sponsor. He said he had been demanding to be repatriated but when the sponsor did finally hand him his passport, there was no exit stamp on it.
"I was recruited to work as a family driver but my sponsor made me work as a building construction laborer so I asked him to send me home," said Arshad Khan from Gurgaon, Haryana. He said that he had paid SR2,000 to his sponsor so he could go back to India but he ended up at the deportation center instead.