Fines totalling over Dh4 million were issued against violators of residency laws who hired illegals in the emirate, according to a top official.
Speaking to Emirates24|7, Advocate-General Ali Humaid Khatem, Head of Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution in Dubai, said the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution in Dubai set up an initiative called ‘Maysara’ in 2010 – wherein those fined Dh50,000 for each illegal worker can make the payment in instalments.
Advocate-General Ali Humaid Khatem, Head of the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution. (Supplied)
“The prosecution has issued Dh4,086,900 in fines to 58 sponsors and people who hired violators of residency laws in Dubai last year.”
Adv.-Gen. Khatem said the reason for the initiative is to ease the payment of fines.
“If violators fail to pay fines, then they will be sentenced to go to jail, and in this case, their families will lose the person who supports them and this will lead to other problems.
This is not what we want, and that is why we came up with this initiative,” he said.
He added that this initiative allows violators to pay their fines within a maximum period of two years only. To avail this initiative, violators must meet some criteria, and the most important criteria is to establish that they are financially unable to pay the fine.
Violators paid Dh2,914,900 last year and Dh1,171,000 remains to be paid this year, Adv.-Gen. Khatem said and added that 33 out of 58 violators availed of the instalment initiative.
He pointed out that the number of arrests of hiring runaway workers - who stopped working for their sponsors - has increased over the past few years.
This is due to inspection campaigns by both the Ministry of Labour and General Department of Naturalisation and Residency.
Residency law violators fall under several categories including housemaids, who come on visit visas and extend their stay without visas.
If maids or workers run away, sponsors can get compensated in Dubai
Sponsors of housemaids and workers who run away can get compensated, if they file an official complaint with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), according to top official.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Advocate-General Ali Humaid Khatem, Head of the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution in Dubai, said if the sponsor does not file an official complaint with the GDRFA, then they are also going to be fined Dh50,000 for helping workers work in the country illegally.
“We have started a new initiative at the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution in Dubai in which when we catch illegal workers, we levy a fine of Dh50,000 on those who hired them illegally. We then find their sponsors and pay them compensation. This system is only followed in Dubai,” he said.
Adv.-Gen. Khatem added that many sponsors of runaway workers complain only at police stations, and they don’t file an official complaint at the GDRFA. “This is wrong. This way they are helping illegal workers to stay in the country illegally, violate the laws, and in many cases commit crimes.”
He added that sponsors of runaway workers also do not have to pay for the airline ticket for deporting them from the country.
“However, if they don’t file complain at GDRFA, then they will also have to pay for the airline tickets for deporting illegal workers,” said Adv.-Gen. Khate.