This February, 51-year-old Bhim Upadhyaya (name changed), a farmer from the Chitwan district in Nepal, paid a Kathmandu-based recruitment agency for a job as a truck driver in Doha, Qatar. The sum – 105,000 Nepalese rupees ($930) – was borrowed from a money-lender at a 60% annual interest rate.

Bhim’s contract – written in English, a language he does not read – promised an 1,800 rial ($495) monthly salary, plus overtime if he worked longer than eight hours. When Bhim signed the offer, the agency issued him a receipt for a fraction of what he had paid them.

“I knew the recruitment agency would only issue a receipt for 10,000 rupees – other workers had told me about this practice,” Bhim said. Following a Nepal government directive on recruitment fees, agencies in Nepal issue false receipts for sums within the maximum permitted limit – and then tell workers to not reveal what they actually paid.