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Disgraced UAE ambassador hit his underpaid staff and called them 'scavengers': tribunal

New details of the case against Khalid Nasser Rashed Lootah, the former ambassador to Ireland, have emerged.

Former UAE ambassador Khalid Nasser Rashed Lootah with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in 2012
Former UAE ambassador Khalid Nasser Rashed Lootah with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in 2012
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE UNITED ARAB Emirates’ former ambassador to Ireland hit his underpaid staff with a towel and referred to them as “rubbish” and “scavengers”, a tribunal was told.

Khalid Nasser Rashed Lootah was recalled from his post after being ordered to hand over a total of €240,000 to 3 workers who had been paid the equivalent of about €2 per hour to work in the house he shared with his wife, Mehra Metad Alghubaisi.

But in new details of the case, published by the Employment Appeals Tribunal, it was revealed that Lootah allegedly subjected the workers to physical and verbal abuse during the 15-hour days they were expected to work.

The ambassador – who staff claimed was prone to “regular, violent outbursts” – once went into a rage because one of the Filipina women, Laylanie Laporga, couldn’t get his son to eat dinner.

“In a fit of temper he upturned the table and all of its content and then proceeded to hit them all using a towel,” the tribunal said.

no-fee-laylanie-loparga-and-jennifer-loparga-630x420 Laylanie Loparga and Jennifer Villaranda Source: MRCI

From 6.30am to midnight most days

The women worked from 6.30am to midnight most days of the week and were expected to perform full domestic duties as well as looking after Lootah and Alghubhaisi’s children.

They were made to sleep in a single room with only 2 beds and were often referred to as “rubbish” and “scavengers”, the tribunal heard.

Lootah held the women’s passports and other official documents until the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland “rescued” them in January 2012.

The UAE Foreign Ministry recalled the ambassador late last month and said he would be asked to “verify the facts” about the ill-treatment.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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