Japanese social worker highlights new case of overcharging Bhutanese students

Five Japanese lawyers stand ready to file cases against BEO’s partner SND in Japan

In another alleged breach of contract by the agent, Bhutan Employment Overseas (BEO), the agent and its counterpart in Japan, SND, had introduced Bhutanese students to a new scheme to obtain a working visa, for which the students were guaranteed attractive jobs and working visa after undergoing training.

Mrs. Yumiko Kan, a Japanese social worker says she came across five students in Fukuoka who was enrolled in this pattern under the company named ‘Amicus’. She said the students were charged exorbitantly higher than the normal rates, given very less training and were not provided the job which was promised earlier.

“They were charged four times higher than the actual rate due to which most students couldn’t take it and they were promised a job in a hotel but they provided any normal job that was available in plenty and that requires more physical effort.”

She said the students were charged four hundred thousand yen while it would not even cost a hundred thousand yen in actual cost if applied through an immigration lawyer. “If it’s done officially, it’s much lesser, maybe around eighty dollars”.

“As per the contract, the agent in Japan was supposed to provide the job and work visa after the completion of the language course,” she said, adding that it was introduced last year when the students were about to finish the language course. “The students only had two options, either apply for vocational education to prolong their stay on a student visa or enroll this scheme by paying an exorbitant amount for work visa. I see it as another scam,” said Yumiko.

She added that the BEO and SND not only breached the contract for not providing job but also introduced the students to the scheme which charged them a huge amount.

Ngawang Tobden, the committee lawyer said as per the overseas employment rules and regulation of labour ministry and as per what is reflected in the agreement between BEO and students, the agent is solely responsible to provide jobs.

Five Japanese lawyers to help the case against BEO and SND

With power of attorney signed by more than 500 students, the case against BEO will be forwarded by the end of April. To provide necessary legal assistance, five Japanese lawyers have come forward to help.

Yumiko Kan said the lawyers have the experience of handling similar cases with similar issues of foreign workers from different countries and are very familiar with the ongoing issue.

The parents’ representatives also met the lawyers and one of the lawyers, Shouchi Isbusuki also attended a press conference along with the parents’ representatives in Japan.

Yumiko said the lawyer has previously won several such cases against such agents in the past. She said that while Mr. Isbusuki will be acting as an advisor in the case and the five will be helping in providing the necessary evidence.

Meanwhile, the lawyers are also willing to forward a case against SND in Japan. Ngawang Tobgay said to file case against SND, a letter from parents and students will need to be sent to the lawyers. “This is similar to giving power of attorney”.

However, he said that to take this step, the decision will be made after judging the verdict from the case against BEO. “If more justice needs to be claimed after this case, we might want to file a case against SND in Japan.”

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