Friday, 18th April 2014

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Lankan maid stages sting operation to get back passport

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 A Sri Lankan housemaid carried out a sting to get back her passport she had pledged for a distant relative two years ago.

Fathima Farzana, 30, enticed Tuan Rizwan to meet her at a mall and got him arrested. Farzana has got back her passport but she’s still stranded and cannot travel to Sri Lanka to see her four children, aged between five and 11, unless she coughs up Dh18,000 in fines for overstaying .

Passport as guarantee

“My passport was withheld by the court as Rizwan had absconded without clearing his debts. Hence my employer could not renew my visa. It is impossible for me to raise a huge amount of Dh18,000. I work as a housemaid and have to support my four children as I am a single mother,” she said.

Farzana, who works for a British family, said her relative called her on a Friday in July 2010 and asked for her passport as a guarantee to avoid arrest in bank case.

“I offered to help Rizwan when he said he would be behind bars till Sunday because his passport was with his sponsor. He promised to return the document within two days and I agreed. Little did I know that he would leave the country without even telling me,” said Farzana.

According to her, Rizwan called from Sri Lanka and assured her that he would pay his dues so that she could reclaim her passport.

“But instead he left for Malaysia and then from there to Qatar. My kids were begging me to come back and I kept contacting Rizwan’s brother and wife but they refused to help.

“Finally after almost two years, he called me from Qatar saying that he is coming back to Dubai during Ramadan. I decided to lay a trap and get him arrested to get my passport back,” said Farzana.

When she confronted Rizwan, he offered to pay Dh2,000 in monthly instalments to clear his debts.

“There is an outstanding of Dh35,000 that he has to clear in credit card payments. I turned down his offer as it meant another long wait before I could go home,” she said.

Alleging that Rizwan had debts up to Dh500,000 and several cases pending against him, Farzana said she set up a meeting with him at Al Ghurair Centre and tipped off the police who promptly arrested him.

Hefty fine

Though Farzana got her passport back, the housemaid is far from fulfilling her dream of going back to her kids for good.

“I have got a fine of Dh18,000 for overstaying my visa. I tried explaining to the authorities that my passport was with the court and hence I should be exempted but to no avail. I was told that my passport is blacklisted and I have to get my name cleared,” she said. (Xpress)

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