Most of those who have been conned by Global Research had either arranged for the money by mortgaging farms in their villages, pawning jewellery of their family members, or selling off property, in the hope of recovering by earning in dollars as promised.
Most of them, who had been working as painters, electricians or mechanics, have lost between Rs15,000 and Rs 45,000 each.
Ram Pravesh Singh, 28, a UP native, who has been working in a city-based construction firm since 2000, said, "I had put in all my earnings to pay for the airline cost. When I approached the firm, they said all we needed was a passport and did not have to pay for the visa." Later, however, they told us we would need to pay for the airline fare.
Singh said that those wanting to go to South Africa were asked to pay Rs 45,000, those headed to Singapore were asked to pay Rs 80,000 while those opting for Canada were asked to shell out Rs 3 lakh. Singh, who had chosen Singapore, said, "I paid half the amount, Rs 40,000, when they gave us a copy of the visa. I took a loan to arrange for the amount."
The 100-odd persons who applied took leave from work to come to the city to make the payments.
"Ever since they realised that they had been duped, they have been staying back in the city. Since they do not have the money, some of them have been sleeping on railway platforms and bus stops in to ensure the police complaint is registered," said Singh.
Singh added: "After the FIR was registered on Wednesday, some of them have gone back home to their villages. This has been very disappointing for them as they saw this as a golden opportunity. Far from that they now have loans to repay when they return to their village. We are hoping the police are able to nab the accused and get our money back. Too many families depend on that."