Visa racket busted, 27 held with fake papers

Travel agency owner, employee arrested

Police suspect a “rival visa racket” blew the lid on the matter by making calls to two airline call centres that these people were to board two flights to Dubai with fake visas. The CISF had detained the 27 people on Tuesday evening after Kingfisher and Jet Airways call centres received calls from anonymous persons that these people were to board two flights to Dubai with fake visas. The callers also claimed that the passengers might try to “hijack” the flights.

The arrests appear to have unearthed a racket in illegally sending workers to trouble-torn Iraq where their security is not assured, a senior police official said.  The 27 people — 15 from West Bengal, six from Punjab, four from Haryana and one each from Delhi and Bangladesh — were detained and later placed under arrest. The Bangladeshi national had an Indian passport procured allegedly through fraudulent means.

“There are masons, electricians and welders in the group. They were to go Iraq from Dubai. They were promised jobs there,”Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport)O P Mishra told reporters.

These people paid Rs 1-1.5 lakh for the visas to local contacts in their respective states. Their contacts asked them to approach a “contact”in the capital who arranged the tickets in bulk through Delhi-based Pan Travels.

Cases registered

“We have arrested the travel agency owner Rakesh Chopra and his employee Sunil Bisht,”Mishra said. Police have registered separate cases against each of the 27 people under IPC sections of cheating and forgery.

The racket’s contact in Delhi had arranged accommodation for these people in various parts of the city. Some people had even reached the city a fortnight ago, Mishra said. “They were supposed to leave India a fortnight ago. But there were some problems with their papers and they had to delay their plans to reach Dubai. They were assured jobs in Iraq,”he said.

Asked whether the 27 people were victims of the racket, Mishra said they were investigating the matter. The racket was unearthed following the calls — first received at Kingfisher at around 12:00 pm and another 30 minutes later. Jet Airways received the call two hours later. Police suspect that the calls were made by people belonging to a rival agency dealing in fake visas because they lost business.

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