Syrians’ Sponsorships in Lebanon .. Scam and Human Trafficking!

Syrians’ Sponsorships in Lebanon .. Scam and Human Trafficking!
Investigations | 05 Dec 2016

After getting rid of the military service in the Syrian regime’s army, Ayham’s joy did not last for more than one month in Lebanon, before he was forced to leave the country and decide to go back to Syria.

Another heartbreak ha had when he had to pay 1200$ to a Lebanese man to sponsor him, in order to guarantee his stay in Lebanon for one year, according to the Syrians’ Sponsorship System there.

The system of Syrian sponsorship came with a set of many conditions arranging the entry of Syrians to Lebanon in 1-1-2015, through so-called Pledge of Responsibility, where the Syrian refugee is called under the request of a Lebanese sponsor who needs this refugee to employ him or he may be having any kind of relationships with the refugee, but the process often be in other forms where the Syrian pays the cost of his existence in Lebanon annually.

How is the bail paid?

The Syrian who wants to enter the Lebanese territory only must trust a Lebanese sponsor, then send him a personal photo and a copy of the Syrian Id or the passport together with an amount of 300$ maximum, in addition to an amount of 1200$ paid to the sponsor for his utilities, in order to be able to enter the Lebanese territory.

The number of Syrians in Lebanon is estimated at about 2 million Syrians. "Nizar", a Syrian man working in Lebanon 20 years ago, and holds the Lebanese nationality, supposes that 100.000 Syrians were sponsored for 1000$ each. He continued saying: "This means entering 100 million Dollars annually for the Lebanese people through the sponsorships only which are a little number if it compared to the actual number of all sponsorships."

Many deceptive sponsors

The bail procedures are often done away from any safeguards to ensure the right of any Syrian wish to enter the Lebanese territory, as it is a lateral agreement and not based on laws, To the extent that the Syrian should send the full amount requested by the Lebanese sponsor in order to have one legal year in Lebanon.

Zaid [28 years] was forced to pay the value of $ 1,100 for unknown sponsors and that was after all his attempts to postpone his military service in Syria were failed, he says to Rozana: "The first time I sent 400$ to my Lebanese sponsor, but he closed his phone a few days later and claimed that a death case in his family prevented him from completing the task, the second time I send 700$ to another sponsor, considering that large amounts bring certain results, but he soon argued that the [Lebanese General Security] has denied the application, and that he did his best and what happened was not his fault, the last time I tried through some acquaintances and friends in Lebanon, but it has not been decided whether the procedure will succeed or not until this day, because of the procrastination."

Syrian brokers

Some Syrians in Lebanon have turned into brokers between the sponsor and the sponsored in both countries, and they get an amount that is up to one-third in many times for their services, and they identify the cost with the Lebanese partner according to the Syrian’s need to get out of Syria, through deluding him that they are the safest and the surest and that their price is very good compared to others.

"Alaa" is a young Syrian working in Lebanon, he found in "Sponsorship procedures" another income, where he negotiates with Syrian acquaintances, in order to be admitted to enter Lebanon for an amount of money shared with the Lebanese sponsor.

The young man invokes the high cost of living in Lebanon, where he works at a restaurant in [Jounieh] north of Beirut, he said: "We do not defraud the young men coming from Syria, because they are aware of what we are doing, and they are free to choose whether they want our services or not."

General Security held accountability and deport people!

"Ayham" was deported to Syria last August, after the Lebanese authorities arrested the Lebanese sponsor who was acting illegally, where he has sponsored 14 young Syrian, and Ayham was one of them.

That sponsor has taken more than $ 12 thousand from Syrians, but he was arrested by the General Security on the charge of "Human Trafficking."

In the beginning, the Lebanese General Security sympathized with the fourteen Syrians, and promised to compensates for the money they lost, but a week after the incident, all the promises were evaporated, where the young men were called to the General security center in Beirut and have been asked to leave the country within a period of 48 hours, according to Ayham.

Ayham is staying now in the town of [Al-Hawash] west of Homs, away from the military police which is responsible for the Military Service, so he has to find a "noble and honorable" sponsor who can help him to escape to Lebanon.

 


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