Expats in Bahrain warned over CPR fraud
Manama, September 28, 2013
Indians in Bahrain have been warned to keep their CPR cards safe to ensure they do not become victims of fraud.
It follows several complaints to the Indian Embassy from workers who have had travel bans slapped on them because of the non-payment of telephone bills issued on mobile numbers they never applied for.
"We are now seeing cases of Indians who have been issued bills by telecom companies for numbers which they tell us were never applied by them," said Ambassador Dr Mohan Kumar.
He was speaking during the monthly open house at the embassy in Adliya yesterday to address labour and consular matters.
Among those who have fallen victim to such fraud is Rajeev Sankara Pillai, 33.
He has been banned from travelling because of six outstanding phone bills dating back to 2010 issued by a leading telecom company.
"I am a salesman and there is no logic for me to have six numbers in the first place," said Pillai.
"My CPR was misused as six mobile numbers were issued in my name without my authorisation to the telecom company.
"I got six different bills amounting to BD640 which I cannot pay and now there is a travel ban slapped on me."
Community leaders said telecom companies have now tightened rules so applicants have to be physically present and sign documents for new connections or services.
"The cases we have come across were in the past few years where the CPRs were misused as now we know the rules have been changed by the telecom companies," said Dr Kumar.
The Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, had reported in April that more than 20 Pakistani workers were allegedly conned into handing over their personal details, which were then used to buy mobile phones and other devices worth thousands of dinars.
The Pakistan Embassy said the men were promised jobs by a Bahraini and handed over copies of their CPR cards and passports.
The men only discovered what happened when one of them was stopped at the airport as he tried to go on holiday because of a travel ban imposed due to outstanding debts.
Last year, the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs search and follow-up director Colonel Ghazi Al Senan said telecom companies and banks were responsible for 90 per cent of travel bans imposed on foreign nationals in Bahrain.-TradeArabia News Service