Crime no longer male bastion: Meet queen of immigration frauds | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Crime no longer male bastion: Meet queen of immigration frauds

Neena Sharma, 40, recently convicted and jailed for duping 65 people on the pretext of sending them abroad, brings to the fore how women graduate from just being honey traps into being masterminds in white collar crime.

punjab Updated: Dec 26, 2016 16:50 IST
Shailee Dogra
Neena initially used to help people fill up immigration forms in 1997 and having earned enough money through this business, she had opened a restaurant in Phase 7.
Neena initially used to help people fill up immigration forms in 1997 and having earned enough money through this business, she had opened a restaurant in Phase 7. (HT Photo)

Neena Sharma, 40, recently convicted and jailed for duping 65 people on the pretext of sending them abroad, brings to the fore how women graduate from just being honey traps into being masterminds in white collar crime.

Neena, who is a graduate and suffering from various ailments, was on the run for more than a year before being arrested from Panchkula in September 2012. She was running two immigration firms — Sai Kirpa in Sector 70 and Guru Kripa Enterprises in Phase 7, SAS Nagar.

She was awarded two-year jail on December 16, on a complaint filed by a resident of Himachal Pradesh.

Neena initially used to help people fill up immigration forms in 1997 and having earned enough money through this business, she had opened a restaurant in Phase 7. The first complaint against her was registered by one Devinder Kaur in May 2011.

As per the police, Neena had roped in Devinder as her agent who used to bring people from different places to Neena to get their work done.

“Things were going smooth till I stopped coming to the office,” Neena told the police, projecting herself as a “victim”.

USED 4 DIFFERENT NAMES

To escape the police, Neena stayed on rent in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar, under different names such as Anjali Sharma, Shalini Kapoor and Malkiat Kaur, besides Neena Sharma. At the time of her arrest, the police had recovered three different identity proofs in the form of a driving licence from her, issued by the district transport offices of Patiala and Ropar.

Pleading before the court that she was falsely implicated in the case, she maintained that she used to charge Rs 50,000 per application form and in case, she could not get the immigration of a person done, she would return the money after deducting Rs 10,000 as consultancy fee.

Police had recovered 112-gm gold in the form of jewellery (13 gold rings, 2 golden chains, 3 pairs of earrings, one gold ‘kara’) and 317-gm silver in the form of two pairs of anklets, along with 13 passports, 6 ATM cards and 4 driving licences from Neena’s possession.

Police had claimed that victims used to mortgage their jewellery to the accused in case they did not have money. She even used to provide finance against gold jewellery.

‘CRIME IS NO LONGER MALE BASTION’

“The increasing involvement of women in crime clearly shows that crime is no longer a male bastion. It is not just a particular section of society which is taking to crime. Women from different strata of society and different age groups are into it. Women are better strategists and can work out things more meticulously than men when it comes to crime. People trust them more easily and do not suspect them of committing fraud,” said advocate Rajeev Duggal.

“Earlier, women were used as honey traps or mere carriers, but now they are masterminding crimes. The lure of easy money is driving many women to such crimes. Many people are still under the wrong notion that women commit crime only under compulsion. They still view women as victims. Though initially it is men who induce women to commit crime, but these women gradually learn to operate rackets more professionally than their male counterparts,” said advocate Gagan Agarwal.

CHEATING BEGAN AT HOME

As per the police, her maternal uncle was her first victim of cheating and she had managed to sell his land through impersonation.

She had strained relations with her husband Mangat Ram Sharma and got divorced. She had two children and was bringing them up as a single parent when she was arrested. Even her estranged husband was booked by the Chandigarh police for duping people on the pretext of sending them abroad.

BLURB Neena Sharma, 40, recently convicted and jailed for duping 65 people on the pretext of sending them abroad, shows how women graduate from just being honey traps into being masterminds in white collar crime