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Teacher victim of IELTS "recruiter". PLEASE READ!
I’m an American currently in a "prisoner situation" Uzbekistan. Why? Well…let me tell you why.
  I have been living in Asia for about sixteen years now, mainly the Philippines, with short tutoring stints in the ROC. I came back to the P.I. to visit my family in January 2020 during the Spring Festival. As you well know this is about the start of the Covid19 pandemic and the following week the Beijing govt. locked the border.
  Being pro-active I began teaching ESL online for various platforms to continue a meager income for my children and my wife. At the end of the lock-outs and lock-downs in the fall of 2022 I began having a regular student from UZB by the name of N. Ismanov. This person, after a few lessons, began pitching UZB as a great place to live and work. He was also trying to sell to me on an IELTS school project in Chirchik. He had been looking for a “native speaker” for his project and told me I would be a partner in his project. His offer of salary was low: $1000 U.S. per month but he agreed to bump it up to $1500 U.S. While this was still low it was more stable than working online.
  As most persons would I did my due diligence: I searched UZB, Chirchik, and his name using various search engines. The only thing I found was a warning from the U.S. govt. saying not to go within five miles of the Afghanistan border. Well, common sense would prevail with most westerners not to go for a stroll in Taliban controlled AFG. And his name brought up no info or alarming narratives.
  N.I. offered to pay for my air tickets, explained the housing available, and that he would handle all expenses of entering UZB. I booked my tickets for January 21-22 and flew out. Once on the ground in Tashkent is where the red flags began flying. N.I. met me at the immigration entry point and asked me if I had $900 U.S. for an entry visa. Of course I had not anticipated this expense and did not have it on me. Also since he’d promised, yes promised, that all expense would be covered by him I had no reason to be carrying this kind of cash. He arranged for the funds while I waited at the entry point and found out later he’d ran around borrowing the money from friends.
  At the airport he introduced me to a kid named “Robert” that would be my “assistant” for all local matters who would live with me 24/7. This person was with me everywhere and I couldn’t go for a walk by myself; why will be explained later. 
  The beginnings of his school weren’t the greatest: he’d made an agreement with a local principal to use a couple of rooms at Chirchik no. 9 school. There was no heat in a record cold winter and constant distractions from the students at the school.
  He did not, and has not, run his school professionally; constant interruptions by him and his staff during classes and other issues, printed texts from online publishers, lack of school supplies, and other issues.
  The first payday was to be in April and came and went without full salary. A few hundred which I used for some food and sent what I could to my wife. Until this day I still have not received that month’s pay or the following month’s as well. My son needs monthly injections for a medical condition, my wife needs funds for a full medical work up, and my daughter needs medicine(s) for her asthma.
  N.I. has changed the location of the school twice in 3 months and we’re now in a run-down old Soviet structure. Why he keeps changing locations to me is obvious: he has no operating capital for the previous venues and moves to avoid the owners.
  After about five weeks he moved me out of the shared apartment and moved me in with his wife, kids, and foster kids. I cannot go anywhere by myself and am watched 24/7. There have been “windows” where I could escape where he leaves or the family is sleeping but there are no funds for leaving UZB.
  Things have currently worsened:
  ·I have been taking daily beatings to “stimulate my energy” or “improve my motivation”.
  ·I have been sick multiple times from the living quarters situation, classroom situation, or food.
  ·I’m working 10 hours per day with no breaks.
  ·He has indicated because of the costs of moving to a new location there may be no funds available
    for my expenses.
  ·He constantly asks me for money for tasks or food for his family and I’m draining what funds I have.
  ·For meals I get whatever is left from his groups munchings and not much.
  ·He takes me around to local schools to pitch his center to the students. One of the students warned
   me that I’m a target for kidnapping.
  To escape this disaster I will need at least $2000 U.S. for air tickets, and other necessary ground plans;
OR air tickets and $1200 U.S. for the same activities. My phone number in UZB is 998770171958 but I’m not available 24/7 please be aware of the Tashkent time zone. My email address is [][/email].
I have pre-staged my gear and am ready to go as soon as I can get the needed help. I’m not being dramatic or unreasonable in my request. However, if I cannot escape this fiasco I will probably die here. Please help me get back to my family! Ed Martucci.

Attached is the UZB visa.
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