Dubai residents hiring illegal housemaids will be fined up to Dh50,000.
Domestic help must be sponsored by their recruiters, according to a top DNRD (Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai) official.
Similarly, employers hiring workers who are not on their sponsorships will face Dh50,000 fine, he added.
Judge Ali Humaid bin Khatam, Head, Court of Naturalisation and Residency, said at least 70 per cent cases pending with the department's prosecution involves those of housemaids.
Some of them are also believed to have entered the country illegally and a few others have been overstaying their visa periods.
Out of the 3,478 defendants brought to trial between June and October this year, 2,434 were housemaids. About 1,217 people are on trail for recruiting 'absconding maids', said Bin Khatam.
First-time offenders including absconders will be fined and deported for a year after serving their jail terms. They can return to seek work in the emirate. However, repeated offenders will be permanently deported from the country and can return only with a special permission from the Ministry of Interior.
Citing cases that appeared before the prosecution, Bin Khatam said one case involved an Arab woman who allegedly accused her maid of stealing. Investigations revealed she had hired the help illegally and that she was not under her sponsorship. Therefore, if convicted, the Arab woman would be fined Dh50,000 while the maid would be deported after serving jail term.
Similarly a European was fined Dh50,000 for recruiting an 'illegal' maid who inturn was impriosoned for one month and later deported, he added.
However, there are also cases wherein househelps are exploited by their owners.
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