Fake visa racket busted in Punjab’s Pathankot, mastermind held
Police recover 25 passports, 6 chequebooks, 7 ATM cards and identification documents from the accused
The Pathankot police have arrested one Jasvir Singh, a notorious fake travel agent, who was masterminding an elaborate visa scam.
During the operation, the police have also seized a staggering number of fraudulent documents, including 25 passports, six chequebooks, seven ATM cards, Aadhar cards, a car, two phones, a watch, PAN cards, and voter ID cards, officials said.
These materials serve as crucial evidence in the investigation, shedding light on the extent of the deception orchestrated by Jasvir Singh, said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harkamal Preet Singh Khakh.
Upon meticulous examination, it has come to light that Jasvir Singh, under the guise of a travel agent, duped multiple individuals seeking foreign tourist visas to Argentina. He cunningly exploited their aspirations, charging exorbitant fees and promising a smooth visa process. In total, he fraudulently collected a staggering amount of ₹23 lakh from unsuspecting applicants, leaving them devastated and stranded, the SSP said.
The deceptive scheme unfolded as Jasvir Singh enticed victims such as Subhas Dar, Nitin, Kulwant Raj, Vishal, Lakha Ram, Arun Kumar, Dayal Chand, and Sehal alias Pradeep Kumar. Exploiting their trust, Jasvir Singh acquired their original passports, birth certificates, and substantial sums of money. He proceeded to fabricate and distribute counterfeit Argentine visas.
The case came to light when the Embassy of Argentina flagged the fraudulent visas after receiving an inquiry from a vigilant applicant. The swift response and collaboration between Pathankot Police and the embassy played a vital role in unravelling this elaborate scam. The embassy confirmed that the visas were fake and promptly shared the information with their consulate in Mumbai, Khakh said.
The SSP said police have initiated legal proceedings against Jasvir Singh, invoking various sections of the Indian Penal Code, namely Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, and 471. Additionally, charges have been filed under Section 13 of the Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act 2014 and Section 24 of the Immigration Act 1983 at Sadar Pathankot police station.
In the course of initial questioning, the defendant disclosed that for several years he was employed in Dubai and subsequently started working with a travel agency based in Delhi. He ultimately ventured into his own tour and travel enterprise in 2016 without completing the required registration process, police said.