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Maid accuses NRI employers of cheating

Shobana, who won two Lexus cars at a Dubai raffle draw alleges her employers collected cash in lieu of the cars worth Rs 5 mn on her behalf but gave her only Rs 5,00,000.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2005 19:37 IST

A housemaid who claims that her employers in the United Arab Emirates cheated her of Rs 5 million ($109,536) she won at a raffle draw, on Friday said she was filing a criminal case against them in a Dubai court.

Forty-year old Shobana, who won two Lexus cars as the first prize at a raffle draw of Dubai Shopping Festival in 2004, alleges her employers collected cash in lieu of the cars worth Rs 5 million on her behalf but gave her only Rs 5,00,000 when she returned home thinking she had made enough money to take care of the rest of her life.

Shobana said that she will file a case of cheating against Dr Valsala and Jaisingh, for whom she worked as a domestic help at Umm-Al-Quwain till her 'windfall'.

R Rajan Eyadi, secretary of Pravasi Malayalee Development Society, whom Shobana had approached for help, said their lawyer AK Shamsudeen is flying to Dubai on Saturday to file the case of cheating against Shobana's UAE employers.

"Shobana has a good case. I am taking with me all the documents on the entire sequence of events in this cheating case," Shamsudeen, a legal consultant with UAE-based Al-Kabban Advocates and legal Consultants, said.

Narrating her story, Shobana, who had received only primary school education, said she purchased the prize-winning ticket in January 2004. "My employers said that in-lieu of the cars, I could get the equivalent value in cash which was Rs 50,00,000 and I agreed".

"At a function I was handed over the keys of the cars. But since it was decided to take cash, the money was handed over to my employers", she said.

Shobana said when she was returning to Kerala, they handed her a sealed envelope saying it contained a draft of Rs 5 million, the prize money. But when she presented it to a bank in Feb 2004, she was told it was for only Rs 5,00,000.

Cheated, she sought the help of the Pravasi Malayalee Development Society, which works for the welfare on non-resident Keralite's here.

Edyadi, after speaking to Jaisingh, who asked to depute a person from here to Dubai to talk to them, sent a college professor A Krishnakumar to discuss the issue of returning the balance amount.

"But despite talks our representative had with Jaisingh, nothing worked out and he returned empty handed. After that we filed a petition with the chief minister and top police officials but that too went unheard," he said.

When nothing worked, we decided to file a case against her employers.

Denying that they cheated Shobana, Dr Valsala and Jaisingh have claimed that it was decided at the time of purchase of the ticket that if it wins, the prize would be shared by all members of the family and the housemaid.

First Published: Nov 11, 2005 19:37 IST