A 35-year-old travel agent, Ajay Shukla, and his accomplices were arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police on Saturday for sending more than 100 Indians to the US on tourist visas obtained on the basis of forged documents. They had allegedly been running the racket from rented quarters in Safdarjung Hospital for the past three years.
A visa applicant, Gur Sahib Singh, was also arrested after forged papers were found on him.
A senior diplomat with the American embassy told
they are aware of the incident, and investigations had been ordered into the matter.
According to the police, Shukla and his main aide, a man called Pawan Mishra, targeted visa applicants outside the US embassy in Chanakyapuri.
"Ajay charged Rs 5 lakh for providing forged documents like PAN cards, fake income tax returns and bank statements, which his clients used to procure visas," said Satyendra Garg, additional commissioner of police (crime). The visas themselves were, however, genuine in every case.
"Ajay used to arrange financial documents showing that the person who had applied for a visa enjoys a sound economic background and has enough bank balance," said a senior police officer. Fake bank statements, authority letters, visa deposit slips, visa interview letters, and two original passports have been seized.
Ajay is a resident of Green Park. His father-in-law, also a travel agent, was arrested in 1998 for the same crime.