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» 04.05.2009 - Taylor's acquittal plea thrown out
» 17.03.2009 - Liberia Senate chief resigns
» 12.12.2008 - Special police body team to help in Liberia's prison break
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» 26.08.2008 - Liberia begins anti-graft war

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Trafficked Bangladeshis return home from Liberia

afrol News, 4 June - From South Asia's poorhouse Bangladesh, 39 workers in November were tricked to pay large sums to travel to West African poorhouse Liberia, where they were promised well paid jobs. Finally, they are home in Dhaka.

A group of 39 Bangladeshi workers, who were duped by unscrupulous agents into fictitious jobs in Liberia, have finally been helped to return home. The men, who came from different parts of Bangladesh, travelled with proper documentation to Liberia in November 2009, after being offered jobs allegedly paying US$ 500-700 a month in Liberia's emerging garment industry.

The migrants were all tricked to paid US$ 3,000-5,000 to agents to cover one-way tickets to Liberia and necessary paperwork. Some claimed that the agents had also promised them subsequent jobs in Europe.

They travelled by the air from Dhaka to Liberia via Dubai and Ghana, or via Qatar and Nigeria. Soon after their arrival in the Liberian capital Monrovia, they were taken to the northern town of Ganta, which borders Guinea.

After their arrival in Ganta it became clear that they had been cheated and trafficked for labour exploitation.

But in March they were rescued by Liberian government officials, in collaboration with the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), members of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and the UNMIL Bangladeshi peacekeeping contingent in Monrovia - the UN's peacekeeping mission.

"These people were rescued through good inter-agency cooperation and as a direct result of the vigilance shown by the community and law enforcement officers who had attended IOM counter-trafficking training workshops," says IOM Liberia Chief of Mission Ferdinand Paredes.

Acting upon a tip-off from local residents, the Liberian Bureau of Immigration and Naturalisation subsequently arrested five Bangladeshis and one Liberian national on charges of human trafficking.

After their rescue, the trafficked men stayed in a government shelter in Monrovia, where they received direct assistance from IOM, including food, clothing, and medical assistance and counselling.

On Tuesday 1 June, they flew home to Dhaka, with the agreement of the Liberian and Bangladeshi governments. The odyssey finally reached an end for the disappointed Bangladeshis, who still have to see their money returned from the unscrupulous agents in Dhaka.

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