Cracking down on the unscrupulous travel agents by the city police and arrest of seven such agents has indicated the role of some bank managers, who supplied fake bank statements in support of visa applications.
"During investigation of the record seized from the raided offices of immigration agents, it came to the light that bank statements of several visa applicants were false and issued with the connivance of bank managers", additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) Diljinder Singh Dhillon told Hindustan Times.
"It has also came to light that these managers used to charge Rs 25,000 for issuing each fake statements with the deposit of lakhs of rupees in the visa applicant's account from the immigration agents, who later on used to charge hefty amount from their clients", he added.
Without revealing the name of the accused bank managers, Dhillon said that role of three bank managers, all from private banks, is under scanner and very soon all of them would be arrested after collecting vital evidences against them.
About the modus operandi of the agents, Dhillon revealed that mostly the agents targeted the rural aspirants and when the applicants express their inability to show the required money in their account to show in support of their application, agents promised them the same in lieu of hefty amount.
ADCP told HT that Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax Department has also initiated probe against the arrested seven accused, as unaccounted cash of Rs 20 lakh was recovered during the raids conducted in their offices.
Meanwhile, ED sources confirmed to HT about initiation of probe against arrested immigration agents and did not rule out hawala transactions by the immigration agents with their counterpart agents abroad.
The gang of city based immigration agents used to provide forged key documents ranging to marriage certificates to death certificates for facilitating applicants to procure visas of foreign countries, police investigation revealed.
It is pertinent to mention here that on the basis of information provided by embassies of UK and Australia, the city police laid a wide operation and conducted raids on the premises of six immigration agents on May 6 and arrested seven persons.