As many as 15 manpower recruiting agencies gear up to send Bangladeshi workers to Libya despite a government ban since 2012.
A document – which makes roundups in the social media – claims the recruiters made a manpower export contract with the Libyan government in May this year.
The Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) said that it was not aware of the deal, but such agreements were possible if the Libyan government wanted.
BMET Director General Shamsul Islam said, "Despite the closure of the Libyan labour market, many Bangladeshis are migrating to the north African country illegally. So, a team led by the expatriates' welfare secretary was supposed to go to Libya last month to reopen the market. But the tour was cancelled due to a pandemic-led situation."
He suggested talking to the ministry for specific information.
Contacted, expatriates' welfare Secretary Ahmed Munirus Saleheen they were not aware of such any labour market reopening too. He said sending people to Libya is still banned.
According to the document circulating in social media, Unique Eastern, Ahmed International, Rajdhani Trade International, Cathersis International, Snigdha Overseas, Shanjari Interantional, Sonar Bangla Krishi Khamar, Mass Trade International, Sarkar Recruiting Agency, Orchard International, SM International, Orbitals International, Thanex International, Sufi International and BNS Overseas are sending people to Libya.
But, Tipu Sultan, owner of one of the recruitment agencies, denied any involvement in sending Bangladeshis to Libya.
"I strongly condemn those who added my organisation's name to the list and are engaged in malicious attempts to tarnish my image," he added.
Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, former secretary general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira), said if it is correct that only 15 agencies will send workers to Libya, there will be syndication as it happened to Malaysia manpower exports.
"Libya labour market has been closed for Bangladesh since 2012 as there has been an internal instability in that country. But Bangladesh initiated the process to reopen the market before the Covid-19 pandemic," Shariful Hasan, head of Brac migration programme, told The Business Standard.
Libya is an important way-station for people attempting to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.
The dream of Europe has come into the death of many migrants Bangladeshis in Libya in the last few years.
At least 26 Bangladeshi migrants in captivity were shot dead overnight in what appeared to be an attack by hostage-takers at a Libyan town while their 11 other compatriots were wounded last year.