JOB-SEEKERS have been warned not to fall pray to bogus adverts in newspapers offering them work in Bahrain.
Labour Ministry and Labour Market Regularity Authority (LMRA) officials urged people to be cautious when responding to offers and never hand over cash to prospective employers.
The warning comes following the publication of an advert in Malayala Manorama's Kannur edition in northern Kerala claiming that the American Mission Hospital (AMH) was recruiting nearly 300 staff.
It said 40 vacancies for university qualified nurses with salaries of BD400, 100 for general nurses with salaries of BD300, five X-ray technicians with salaries of BD200 and 20 ambulance drivers with salaries of BD180 were available.
Thirty security guards with salaries of BD150, 40 ward boys with salaries of BD130 and 40 cleaners with salaries of BD80 were also reportedly up for grabs.
But AMH officials confirmed the advert was fake and that the hospital did not have any recruitment agencies in India.
Advertisers JCG Associates, which gave an address in the southern state of Karnataka, said candidates should have knowledge of spoken English and would be offered free food, accommodation and overtime.
The GDN responded to the advert pretending to be someone enquiring about the post of a university-qualified nurse for her sister.
A woman who introduced herself as Smitha answered the phone and said the candidate should attend an interview on February 2 at 10am at the address mentioned in the advert.
"Your sister has to attend the interview and if she is selected she needs to pay Rs45,000 (BD372)," said the woman.
"But the money needs to be paid only after you get the visa.
"So there is no guarantee that if you pass the interview, you will get the job.
"Selected candidates will be posted at the American Mission Hospital in Bahrain.
"Nurses will get BD400 and also free food and accommodation.
"We have already received around 150 applications for the interview.
"People from the hospital will also attend the interview."
AMH chief medical officer Dr George Cheriyan warned people not to be fooled by such scams.
"We are aware of this issue and all I have to say it is a fraud of the biggest level," he said.
"We don't have any recruitment agency in India.
"Any advertisement that has appeared is clearly not for the AMH and the hospital has nothing to do with it. The public needs to be aware that this is fraud and not fall into it."
AMH general practitioner Dr Babu Ramachandran revealed he had been bombarded with calls from people in Bahrain who were asked by relatives in India to enquire about the vacancies.
"It is when someone called me to find out about this advertisement that we became aware of the fraud," he said.
"I explained to him that there is no such vacancy and that the hospital has not given any advertisement in any Indian newspaper.
"Many people have called me since asking the same thing and I repeat my answer."
Labour Ministry officials, while not directly responsible, warned people not to fall victims to such adverts.
"People should not respond to such adverts until it's confirmed by the respective company," said a spokesman.
"There is no evidence that this money is going to someone in Bahrain so people should not trust such advertisements.
"No company would ask anyone to pay to be recruited.
"There are many Bahrain companies that advertise in international newspapers, but they wouldn't ask for money."
The comments were echoed by LMRA public relations manager Waheed Al Balushi.
"In such cases people need to contact concerned authorities before taking any action or paying money to these agencies," he said.
Co-ordination Committee of Indian Associations chairman John Iype added people must check with authorities before taking any action.
Meanwhile, Dr Ramachandran revealed the hospital can do little to prevent fake adverts appearing in foreign newspapers in the future.
"As the advertisement was published in an Indian newspaper, we can't do anything except to warn people," he said.
"We are warning people in Bahrain and other countries, including India, not to fall victims to these adverts.
"AMH has never approached any international agency to hire staff for them."