Runaway maid is caught after duping embassy By ANIQA HAIDER Published: 26th February 2008

A RUNAWAY housemaid, who duped embassy officials and charity groups into believing she was a victim of abuse, has been arrested, it was revealed yesterday.

Police had been looking for Indian Bindhu Mohanan after she escaped from her sponsor within 10 hours of her arrival in February last year.

Another case was filed against her after she failed to show up at the Bahrain International Airport last December, when the issue was said to be resolved.

It is thought that Ms Mohanan was brought here by free-visa racketeers, who were said to have forced some victims into prostitution.

The 31-year-old came to Bahrain on February 27 last year to work as a housemaid, but was soon reported missing to police by her Bahraini sponsor.

Just a few days later, she approached and was sheltered and supported by the Bahrain Pathanapuram Association, and then later by the Bahrain Punalur Association.

Her sponsor Ahmed Abdulla called the police on Sunday at around 5pm, after spotting her going to a flat in Gudaibiya, near Universal Food Centre.

"I was just passing by the area and was surprised to see her walking there," said Mr Abdulla.

"I immediately called the police because I wouldn't have dared to enter the flat to search for myself.

"When we got to the flat, the people there refused to open the door. However, the policemen were able to force themselves in and started searching.

"She was able to run away before police arrived. And when I asked her male friend in the flat about her, he said he had no idea where she was.

"However, when I told him that I have seen her in the area, he called her and told her to meet us near a friend's flat behind Gudaibiya Police Station.

The housemaid and her friend were arrested on her arrival and taken into custody.

Ms Mohanan's friend, who was later released from custody following questioning, is said to be arranging for an air ticket for her.

Ms Mohanan had earlier told Bahrain Pathanapuram Association president Babu Kurumbelil that she ran away because her sponsor beat her and had not paid her for two months.

Mr Kurumbelil took her case to the Indian Embassy, where a case was filed against her sponsor.

Both the associations highlighted Ms Mohanan's case when the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi visited Bahrain last October.

Indian Embassy officials called Mr Abdulla and Ms Mohanan for a meeting with Mr Ravi, Indian ambassador Balkrishna Shetty and officials from both associations, at the embassy.

Ms Mohanan repeated her claims at the meeting, but everyone was stunned when Mr Abdulla showed her true arrival date on her passport and a document showing the police case reference number and the date he reported her missing.

Ms Mohanan started crying at the scene and said she ran away because she wanted to work with an Indian family, said Mr Kurumbelil.

It was agreed between all parties that Ms Mohanan would leave the country, so Mr Abdulla could hire another housemaid to work for his family.

Ms Mohanan agreed to leave and said she would book the ticket herself and meet Mr Abdulla at the airport on the specified date, but vanished.

Mr Abdulla told the GDN that according to the Prepaid Ticket Advice (PTA) number, the ticket was booked in Sharjah on December 3 to fly on December 26, and was sent to Ms Mohanan by one of her friends.

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