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Vietnamese wishing to work overseas fall victim to scams

Tuesday, November 03, 2015, 15:45 GMT+7
Vietnamese wishing to work overseas fall victim to scams
People gather at the Japanese Human Resource Training and Development Center in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City to claim their money and personal records.

Dishonest brokers have colluded with branches or representative offices of a number of labor-exporting companies to cheat Vietnamese people who wish to be sent abroad as guest workers.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, head of the Department of Overseas Labor Management (Dolab), under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, made the statement while talking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper about the fact that a lot of people wishing to be sent abroad for work paid money to dishonest brokers only to find out that they had been scammed.

“In reality, swindles are caused from both sides: cheaters and people who are ignorant of related regulations and want to become guest workers as soon as possible,” Quynh said.

Regulations on labor export have been provided by the mass media, posted on the Dolab’s website, and made available at departments of labor, war invalids and social affairs, but many people have paid no attention, making them more susceptible to swindlers.

One of the victims is V.T.M.H., a young woman of the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

Van told Tuoi Tre that in November 2014, she paid VND42.45 million (US$1,900) to Vu Thi Van, a broker in Ho Chi Minh City, who made a receipt that reads, “I [Van] receive this amount and undertake that V.T.M.H. will be sent to Japan as a guest worker in four or six months. If H. fails to be sent to Japan, I will return the money to her.”

Van later introduced H. to the Japanese Human Resource Training and Development Center in Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Duc District, under the Vietcom Human Resource Supply and Trade Joint Stock Company, where H. paid $2,800 as a fee and VND12 million ($538) as the charge for a course in Japanese.

However, H. has until this point not been sent to that country and is suffering from a debt burden.

“That money is a bank loan on which I have to pay an interest of VND4 million [$179] per month,” H. lamented.

Similarly, T.T.L.K., another woman in the southern province of Tay Ninh, said she and her husband paid $5,600 to the representative office of Atlantic Joint Stock Company in Cu Chi District, located in the same city, and then paid an additional amount of VND24 million ($1,076) to the Japanese Human Resource Training and Development Center for a Japanese language course, but they have yet to be sent to Japan.

According to a source, about 150 other people who have taken such a Japanese course at the same center are experiencing the same plight as K. and her husband.

These people have requested that the center repay their money and return their personal records but their request has yet to be fulfilled.

In another case, N.T.P., also of Tay Ninh, paid Viet Nhat Vinh Ron Co. Ltd., a labor exporter in Tan Binh District, $1,500 on December 12, 2014 and then $1,000 on April 17, 2015, but she has not been sent as a guest worker to Japan.

P. has asked that the company repay her the sums but it told her to wait, the woman said.

Caution needed

The Dolab head, Quynh, advised that before paying any money to any labor exporters, people should learn more about them to understand whether they have been licensed to offer labor export services and whether their plans for recruiting people for overseas work have been approved by her agency.     

Quynh added that in order to avoid possible cheats, people should not use brokers in taking steps related to the labor export process.

“I’ve requested that all local authorities tighten control over labor export companies and that the branches and representatives detect and prevent swindling acts,” the official said

It is necessary to publicize the names of the labor exporters that are unreliable or have committed fraud so that people can avoid them, he added.

Reportedly, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has recently fined Vietcom more than VND200 million ($9,136) for its serious violations of labor exporting regulations and suspended the company for three months.

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