Worker from Kazakhstan has been missing since June
A Kazakhstani migrant worker has been missing in Korea for over ten months.
The Kazakhstan Consulate in Korea contacted the JoongAng Ilbo to broadcast an appeal for help in finding Albina Kabduldina, 35, who has been missing since June 13.
Kabduldina arrived in Korea in January 2019 and worked in factories in different areas including Busan and Gimhae, South Gyeongsang.
According to Kabduldina’s mother, Aigul Bolsayeva (60), who was interviewed by the JoongAng Ilbo last Thursday, Kabduldina talked with her and her 12-year-old daughter over Skype every day.
“My daughter showed me the apartments, herself at the groceries and even cats on the street during our video calls every day,” said Bolsayeva.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Bolsayeva asked her daughter to come home, but Kabduldina refused. She said she wanted to work harder in Korea “to move to a bigger residence back in Kazakhstan.”
Kabduldina had wanted to earn money for a bigger house back in Kazakhstan. Her family of six including her parents, sister, nephews and her daughter lived in a small house with only two bedrooms.
“I should have convinced her more strongly to come back to Kazakhstan,” sobbed Bolsayeva.
According to Bolsayeva, Kabduldina never complained about her life in Korea. She always told her mother that the country is “nice and pretty.”
“Mom, what are you planning to do this summer? I’ll work harder so that you and my daughter could come and visit me in the summer,” she quoted her as saying.
In fact, that was the last conversation they had. It took place last June 13.
The family has tried everything they could to find her.
Two weeks after Kabduldina’s last call, Kabduldina’s sister uploaded a search post on social media.
A Kazakhstani woman contacted her, saying she speaks Korean, knows many Korean lawyers and has lived in Korea for a long time.
The woman asked for 7 million Tenge (19.6 million won) for expenses and then vanished.
On June 26, Bolsayeva reported to the consulate that her daughter was gone without a trace.
The consulate immediately reported to the Yongsan Police Precinct in Seoul and started searching for her with the Jinju Police Precinct in South Gyeongsang. That was the last place Kabduldina was known to have lived.
Authorities say tracking her down is particularly difficult since she is an illegal migrant worker. Her visa expired in August 2020.
“We tried tracking her down, but couldn’t find anything. There are no records of departure,” said an official from the Yongsan Police.
Bolsayeva prays every day during the five Salat (prayers performed by Muslims) to hear from her daughter.
“My daughter has a calm personality and is a kind person who never says no to others. I am very worried that something might have happened to her,” said Bolsayeva.
Kabduldina’s 12-year-old daughter texts her mother every day even though she receives no replies.
“I love you so much Mom," she writes. "If you love me too, please don’t give up. You will be found.”
BY CHOI SEO-IN [firstname.lastname@example.org]