32 Sierra Leoneans Repatriated from Senegal
By Ishmael Bayoh
Thirty two (32) Sierra Leoneans duped online for jobs in Senegal were yesterday September 1, 2021 repatriated from Senegal by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to Sierra Leone.
These Sierra Leoneans were said to have been recruited with some Guineans by agents in Sierra Leone and in Guinea, and are said to have paid about $1,000 each to work in Senegal.
The jobs rangefrom welding, construction, agriculture, security to electrician paying from 400,000cfa ($800), 300,000cfa ($600) to 250,000cfa ($500) per week.
On Tuesday June 22nd, 2021, the Sierra Leone Embassy in Senegal led by His Excellency, Ambassador Alhaji Brima Elvis Koroma paid a visit to their location in the region of Thies.
Seven of the online job scammers were arrested and detained by the Senegalese police in Thies.
The Embassy engaged the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for possible repatriation of the Sierra Leoneans. Their cases were looked into and profiled for repatriation whilst the Sierra Leone Embassy prepared Emergency Travel Certificates for those without passports.
Abdul Karim Kamara, one of the victims narrated their ordeals to the Ambassador during the embassy’s visit that they were recruited online and made to believe that the jobs were real.
“They shared with us an excel document bearing the various jobs they were recruiting for with salaries attached. They asked for $1,000 each for the recruitment”. Abdul explained.
Abdul further explained that one LaminKondeh, a Sierra Leonean and Abdul Salam Jalloh, a Guinean recruited them.
The victims said they were made to undertake an orientation where they realised at the end that it was a scam. The police was informed and several of the alleged scammers were arrested.
In one of the engagements with the Senegalese authorities, Ambassador Alhaji Brima Koroma lauded the efforts of the Commissioner at the Central Police at Thies, Moussaka Fall for his swift intervention in apprehending the alleged scammers.
Speaking to the repatriated at the Blaise Diagne International Airport, Ambassador Koroma explained to them about the dangers of trafficking and how on several occasions, Sierra Leoneans have been trafficked and abandoned in Senegal.
He called on them to always verify information before undertaking any venture. He sent out a message to all Sierra Leoneans to desist from embarking on such journeys that will be detrimental to them.
The Head of Chancery, SaiduTimbo earlier spoke to them before their departure to the airport to be resilient, and very conscious on the use of the social media.
The Sierra Leone Embassy in Dakar collaborated with the IOM for the repatriation of the 32 to Sierra Leone.