A job seeker from Satkhira caught sight of a newspaper advertisement promising jobs without experience. So he called the phone number on the advert.
“Your job is ready. Just come to our office prepared to join,” said the person on the other end of the line.
Jobseeker Bazlur Rahman, 40, left for the capital the next day.
When Bazlur arrived at the office of Daily Ajker Bashundhara in Paltan, they offered him a position of floor-in-charge at a garment factory with a monthly salary of Tk 9,200 even though it was a newspaper office.
With Bazlur readily accepting the offer, they asked for Tk 4,500 as “advance lodging fee”. He paid Tk 500 immediately and the rest the next day.
He was thunderstruck when he stepped inside the hostel, which was overcrowded and dirty. The biggest shock came when the company authorities “revised” his salary, reducing it to Tk 3,300, just a third of what it was.
As Bazlur refused to do the job with the reduced salary, they threatened him and told him to leave the hostel. He had no choice but to leave the following day.
Bazlur shared his experience with The Daily Star recently. He is just one of many job seekers who are being duped by dodgy organisations everyday.
Such fraudulent companies take advantage of the unemployment problem of the country.
Bazlur and a few other victims claimed that there were many such companies in the capital that were “doing this business” and keeping the police silent by paying them a monthly amount.
Md Abdul Ahad, assistant commissioner of Detective Branch of police, said, “We know there are many organisations in the city that are cheating people. We take legal action against such a company if we get specific allegations.”
Hasikul Islam from Dinajpur and Rajib from Shariatpur also fell victim to Daily Ajker Bashundhara.
They said fraudulent companies publish ads for jobs using different names, including Best-Tech Buying, Padma Group, Beximco Buying and Basudha Buying. When people apply for the jobs, the companies take money from them for “training fees”, “hostel fees”, and fees for “identity cards”.
Hasikul said, “They [Daily Ajker Bashundhara] charged me Tk 4,500 as training fee. In the five-day training programme, they just gave me a small book and showed some pictures of pants, shirts and different equipment of a garment factory.”
“Nobody can stay in the hostel for more than one or two days,” said Mahbub Alam, from Narsingdi, describing how horrible the living condition was at the hostel the Daily Ajker Bashundhara put him in.
Visiting its office at Fakirerpool, The Daily Star spoke to some people working there. They said none of them were newsmen.
Bithi, owner of the hostel at Malibagh, said, “The company gives me Tk 100-200 a day for each job seeker.”
Hayat-uz Zaman, officer-in-charge of Motijheel Police Station, said, “I didn't hear about the 'newspaper'. Please, send any of the victims to us and we will take action.”