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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Foreign shores as bait, immigration firms cheat people

It is the lure of the foreign land, hope for a better life and the ambition to rake in the moolah that has made many people to fall into the well-laid plans of fraudulent immigration companies.

In the past four years, Chandigarh police have registered cases against 12 companies of duping people on the pretext of sending them to foreign shores, with at least 100 people from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh parting with Rs 2.5 crore to these firms.

The latest has been against Scotch Education and Immigration Service Pvt Ltd of Sector 3 in Chandigarh. A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy has been registered against its owners Dhaliwal and Seema on a complaint by Yaman Khan that the duo took Rs 2.30 lakh to send him abroad.

But neither was he sent abroad nor his money returned.

Earlier on Saturday, a similar case was filed against Healthyway Immigration Consultants Pvt Ltd, based in Sector 42 of Chandigarh for cheating and forgery.

However, owners Amit Kakkar and Saroj Kakkar and other officials—Kuldeep Singh, Seema Dogra, Siana Nischal and Charu—are absconding. The police have sealed Kakkars’ residence in Phase-II of Mohali.

A team headed by DSP (headquarters) Ashish Kapoor quizzed some employees of the company and have also contacted embassies.

Most of these frauds are committed by small-time immigration agents, operating from houses and cabins.

A detailed report prepared by the Economic Offences Wing of Chandigarh police a month ago reveals that 12 registered firms were booked for duping people and authenticity of six of them are still being examined with the help of Ministry of External Affairs.

Police sources said in most of the cases, the modus operandi was similar: Giving advertisements in local newspapers and magazines, saying people would be sent abroad at less expense. In some cases the accused were couples, who claimed to have contacts abroad.

Duo charged for duping man

The Chandigarh Police registered a case on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy, on Sunday, after Yaman Khan, a resident of Mohali complained against Dhaliwal and Seema, both owners of Scotch Education and Immigration Service, SCO No 16-17, Sector 34, Chandigarh. As per the complainant, the duo took Rs 2,30,000 from the complainant for sending him abroad. However, Yaman was neither sent abroad nor was his money returned. No arrests have been made so far.

Meanwhile, in Panchkula

Police are investigating a complaint lodged by 15-20 people who were duped by an immigration agent, Manmeet Singh, resident of SAS Nagar, who had an office - Sunshine Company in Sector 16. As per the complaint, he lured people by putting advertisements in the newspapers and promised them jobs in Singapore. He gave them appointment letters and even airline tickets, which all turned out to be fake. The victims came to know about the fraud when they were stopped at IGI for having fake tickets.

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