Immigration frauds: Mohali tops in Punjab

MOHALI:Immigration frauds have been on the rise, with Mohali topping the list of cases registered against travel agents for cheating and fraud in Punjab over the past 15 months.

ROBINSINGH@TRIBUNE.COM

Pavneet Singh Chadha

Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 31

Immigration frauds have been on the rise, with Mohali topping the list of cases registered against travel agents for cheating and fraud in Punjab over the past 15 months.

According to the data released by the Punjab Police on social networking service Twitter, 900 cheating and fraud cases were registered against travel agents in Punjab between January 1, 2017, and March 15, 2018, with 137 cases (15 per cent) reported in Mohali. 

Under Emigration Act, 1983, 88 cases were registered in Mohali, almost half (49 per cent) of the total 180 recorded in the state, while 49 cases were registered under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC in Mohali. 

Mohali is closely followed by Hoshiarpur with a total of 93 cases and Jalandhar with 72 cases during the reference period. 

Lack of awareness lead 

to frauds: Police

Police officials say the proliferation of unregistered immigration consultants in Mohali in the past few years and lack of awareness among public have led to an increase in the immigration fraud-related cases. 

“Naive and gullible youths fall into the trap of fraudulent immigration agents, who dupe people of lakhs on the pretext of sending them abroad,” said a senior police official. 

Sources said more than 122 immigration firms are registered across Mohali, with their contact details, license and office, listed on the district administration’s website. 

An official posted with the Miscellaneous Assistance (MA) Branch, which deals with the registration of immigration agencies in Mohali DC Office, said the number of immigration firms operating in the district without a license was more than 500. 

Mohali Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Charandev Singh Mann said the administration had recently written a letter to the Mohali SSP to take an action against illegal immigration firms and travel agents, following which complaints have been registered against such firms for duping people. “Along with the police action, transparency needs to be established with respect to defining certain visa norms, fee paid to commissioning agent and the disclosure of information,” he added. 

Alam Vijay Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP, City 1), said lack of awareness among the aspirants who want to go abroad was also a reason. “A lot of students applying for study visa abroad from Doaba and Jalandar are falling prey to such agents. We are identifying such agents and registering cases against them.” 

The Punjab Police have recently started a campaign on Twitter to generate awareness among public about the fraudulent immigration travel agencies, asking residents to “only approach certified representatives and to never sign an application with false information.” 

Despite repeated attempts, Mohali SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal could not be contacted. 


Fact file

  • According to the data released by the Punjab Police on social networking service Twitter, 900 cheating and fraud cases were registered against travel agents in Punjab between January 1, 2017, and March 15, 2018, with 137 cases (15 per cent) reported in Mohali.
  • Under Emigration Act, 1983, 88 cases were registered in Mohali, almost half (49 per cent) of the total 180 recorded in the state, while 49 cases were registered under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC in Mohali.

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