Bengaluru: How safe is it to approach an agent promising a well paid job abroad? Rajeev Raman Shastri (24) from Kengeri and Prabhu Mohan (23) of Nisarga Badavane shared a common dream of being sailors in the merchant navy. Their dream was exploited by an agent they met in Agra who promised them lucrative shipping jobs.
According to sources, the duo had met the agent in mid-September. Rajeev said, “We believed him and paid Rs. 1.15 lakh each and were waiting for the job orders. But, he kept dodging us and we sought the help of the Agra police, who nabbed the agent. He then promised to get us able seaman jobs in a ship or return the money.”
The agent had not got back to them even till early November. When they confronted him, he issued them two tickets to Kuala Lumpur and promised a job in a Malaysian vessel. But the ordeal had just begun as the two landed in Kuala Lumpur on November 11. “Agents there started tormenting us for another Rs. 1.4 lakh each, saying the Agra agent had not given them any money. They told us to arrange the money from our families and held us captive for 20 days at their offices in Miri and Sibu,” said Prabhu. During their stay in Kuala Lumpur, they only had a cellphone to talk to their relatives in Bengaluru. The youth were locked up and got just a meal each day.
Ramu from Kengeri, a family friend, approached BJP activist Anil Chalageri from Yeshwantpur. “I decided to throw the hat in the ring by writing to Sushma Swaraj, our External Affairs Minister,” said Anil. The Indian authorities in Malaysia rescued the youth within a week. They were then sent back to India. Rajeev and Prabhu reached Bengaluru on 5 December via Tiruchi.