Muscat: A recruitment office in Al Batinah has been closed down after bringing housemaids into the country on tourist visas, according to the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP).
The office owner and another employee have been arrested.
In a statement, PACP said: “The Public Authority for Consumer Protection in North Al Batinah Governorate has closed a manpower recruitment office temporarily and is trying to reach amicable settlements for more than 20 complaints.”
PACP has already managed to settle a further 29 complaints and to retrieve an amount of money estimated to be 11,670 OMR.
The case began when the consumer protection department in North Al Batinah received a number of complaints against a manpower recruitment office. “The clients had made contracts with the office to bring housemaids to their homes. However, it turned out that the recruitment office had brought the housemaids in with tourist visas, “PACP stated.
According to the Authority, these actions demonstrated a lack of credibility and transparency when dealing with consumers and led to the specialists in the Department of Consumer Services and Market Monitoring calling the manpower office manager to a meeting. When he did not show up, according to PACP,
“It was decided to close the office to protect consumers from wasting their money on unreliable contracts. Moreover, the office owner and the contracting officer were both arrested.”
Reports also revealed that the manpower office received full payment from consumers before providing any service, which is against PACP regulations.
“As a result, PACP made a request to Public Prosecution in Wilayat Sohar for the office to be closed until they have dealt with all the complaints filed against them, “ the Authority said.