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Wed 15 Oct 2008 10:58 PM

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UAE fines, jails man for employing 94 illegal workers

Biggest penalty of its kind ever handed down by Dubai court on Indian national.

An Indian national has been fined 6.4 million dirhams ($1.74 million) and jailed for two months for employing 94 Asian men illegally in Dubai, prosecution and labour ministry officials said on Wednesday, UAE daily The National has reported.

The Labour Ministry under secretary, Humaid bin Deemas, said the case was the biggest of its kind the country had seen in terms of the fine imposed and the number of illegals employed by a single company.

"Whoever thinks of employing an illegal worker aims to do our society great harm as well as harm to the worker he employs. Our laws aim to protect workers and secure their rights. Workers’ rights are a red line that must not be crossed," the paper quoted Deemas as saying.

He said it was the role of the the labour ministry, the police, prosecution and immigration authorities discover and prosecute such violations in the local job market to ensure a stable and secure society.

The authorities first became aware of the case in late August when several workers at the company unwisely complained to the Labour Ministry they had not been paid, the paper said.

Immigration inspectors then found that the majority of the employees at the electro-mechanical contracting company, had either absconded from their legal sponsor, had entered the country illegally or were in the country on expired visit visas, it added.

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