x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Four held after raid on runaway maids

Two men have been charged with illegally employing maids who had run away from their sponsors, police say.

Two men have been arrested and charged with illegally employing maids who had run away from their sponsors, police said yesterday. A source at Sharjah's immigration department said the maids had also been arrested. All four cases have been referred to the public prosecution. Both men are charged with employing a person who was not under their sponsorship and the maids with working for someone other than their legal sponsor.

Both maids and one of the men were also charged with remaining illegally in the country. The other man was of Arab nationality. Illegal immigrants face a minimum penalty of a Dh10,000 (US$2,700) fine and six months in prison followed by deportation. The same penalties apply to employees who work for someone other than their sponsor and for whoever recruits them. During the first four months of this year 2,399 alleged visa violators have been arrested in Sharjah. Of those, 522 were accused of entering the country illegally and 397 were maids.

A source at the immigration department said it would "continue in its efforts to clamp down on the phenomenon of maids fleeing their sponsors". * The National