New Delhi, March 15
A former employee of the French Embassy here who allegedly perpetrated a massive fraud by issuing visa to hundreds of people, including his parents, on the basis of fake documents without the knowledge and approval of sanctioning authority has escaped from India, officials said.
The officials said that the CBI had registered an FIR against Shubham Shokeen and another former employee Aarti Mandal in the case on the basis of a complaint from the French Embassy.
It was alleged that Shokeen issued visas on the basis of forged documents after accepting illegal gratification of Rs 50,000 per application without the knowledge and approval of the head of the visa department of the embassy from January 1, 2022 to May 6, 2022, they said, alleging that the former employee dealt with 324 files relating to requests to issue visa during the period.
The CBI was on the trail of Shokeen after registration of the FIR, but it found that he had escaped the country before the case was lodged by the agency in December last year, the officials said.
During the searches, the CBI seized the passports of Shokeen’s parents - no. U6107931 belonging to his father Samunder Singh and U1489667 belonging to his mother Anita Shokeen -on which ‘'ETATS SCHENGEN’ visa stickers bearing numbers 601039921 and 601039919 respectively were pasted, the officials said, adding that the Schengen visa allows a person to travel across 27 countries in Europe seamlessly.
The purported visa issued by French Embassy was valid for five years from January 3, 2022 to January 2, 2027 and authorised multiple entries and stay for 90 days in France, they said.
When enquired, the French Embassy here informed the CBI on February 10 that the visa stickers on Shokeen’s parents are genuine. Still, the signatures of Yohan Fanhan, an officer of the embassy, upon the same appear to be forged.
The embassy also said that it is a strong likelihood that the parents of Shokeen did not appear for the personal interview for a visa and the stickers were taken out by him and pasted at home, the CBI officials said.
The officials in the CBI alleged that 64 files pertaining to individuals having a “high risk” of migration, like young farmers or unemployed youth from Punjab, who had never travelled before and lacked the profile to hold a Schengen Visa, have “disappeared” from the Embassy and still remain untraceable.
The agency suspects that Mandal and Shokeen allegedly destroyed the documents and files from the visa department to leave no traces of this illicit activity, they added.
The CBI had after the registration of FIR conducted searches in Delhi, Patiala, Gurdaspur and Jammu, during which documents and electronic evidence like laptops, mobile phones and suspicious passports were recovered.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Navjot Singh Sidhu walks out of jail after 10 months; slams Centre, Punjab Government
Former PPCC chief says he would visit Sidhu Moosewala's hous...
Criminal wanted in 2020 attack on cricketer Suresh Raina's relatives shot dead in encounter by UP Police
Rashid, alias Chalta Firta alias Sipahiya, carried a cash re...
Some people hell-bent to dent my image; they have given 'supari': PM Modi
He was addressing a gathering at Rani Kamalapati railway sta...
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to visit India after misgivings on Doklam border issue
PM Tshering said he had said ‘nothing new’ as Bhutan media b...
India-China border now stable, situation of 'emergency control' over: Chinese diplomat
Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed along the Line of Actual...