Government to Utilize Deposit Funds to Repatriate Illegal Workers

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that the government will be utilizing deposit funds as the first financial resource to repatriate expatriate workers with no work permit or work visa.

Authorities estimate there are over 114,600 expatriate workers, out of which 63,300 estimated to be without necessary documents needed to work in the Maldives.

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The majority of expatriate workers are from Bangladesh.

Every time a Bangladeshi worker is brought to the Maldives, a sum of MVR 8,000 is deposited.

Minister has stated that over 800 expatriate workers have submitted requests for repatriation after the government opened for registration on March 21.

He further added that those registered will be sent back to Bangladesh in a chartered flight by Island Aviation.

Minister noted that any delay in the repatriation is due to restrictive measures taken by the Bangladeshi foreign ministry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many expatriate workers live in congested spaces, and this would put them at a high risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Thus the government has decided to move these workers to safer environments.

The Maldives has reported 19 positive cases of COVID-19 with 13 recoveries and no fatalities.

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