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Friday, March 5, 2021

Kenya releases three Qatar-based expats, allows them to continue recruitment

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The three expats arrested in Kenya last week on charges of attempting to recruit staff illegally have been released from custody and are being allowed to continue their work in the country, an official at the Kenyan Embassy in Qatar has told Doha News.

Indian Jayashankar Hadhavan Pillai, director of the Cambridge School and Doha Modern Indian School (DMIS), Briton David Throp, Headmaster of the Cambridge School, and Malaysian Chen Kim Loong, manager of hotel and apartment complex Holiday Villa were taken away by undercover officials outside the Hilton hotel in Nairobi last week, and subsequently arrested.

Kenyan officials had accused the men of attempting to recruit Kenyan staff for their Qatar businesses illegally.

All three had entered Kenya on tourist visas.

‘Wrong’ recruitment procedure

Counselor James Omosa told Doha News that the trio have been released, and that they are now being allowed to continue recruitment in Nairobi. They are expected to fly back to Doha in the next few days.

Omosa went on to explain the circumstances surrounding their detention:

They were arrested because the recruitment procedure they employed was wrong. Anybody conducting an interview for Kenyans to work abroad has to have a work permit or they must do it through a Kenyan recruitment agent –  but in this case the recruitment agent they’d paid to help them was not on site during interviews. Once they got in touch with him, everything was fine.”

In March last year, Kenya and Qatar signed an agreement on the employment of Kenyan nationals in Qatar. It promised that Qatar’s Ministry of Labor would forward its Kenyan counterpart all details of employers in Qatar who wished to employ Kenyan nationals, and also that both sides would closely monitor the work of employment agencies. 

All three men work for the Taleb Group, which owns a range of businesses in Qatar including three schools, two hotels and several construction companies.

Thoughts?

Credit: Image from Citizen TV News report, showing David Throp and Jayashankar Pillai as they were arrested in Nairobi

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