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Crackdown against illegal travel agents: 1 held, 8 booked in Ludhiana

Cops recover 50 passports, 500 application forms, registers; agents are in the dock for collecting lakhs of rupees

punjab Updated: May 26, 2018 20:22 IST
Amarpal Singh
Amarpal Singh
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Crackdown,illegal travel agents,travel agencies
Cops during the raid at the office of 99 Visa Overseas in Ludhiana on Friday; and (below) a complainant showing documents issued by the firm.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

Launching a crackdown against illegal travel agents in Ludhiana, police on Friday carried out raids at the premises of more than half a dozen offices of travel agencies, which had allegedly been duping people on the pretext of sending them abroad.

The police have recovered around 50 passports, 100 copies of passports, 500 application forms and few registers in the raid. A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy including Section 24 of the Immigration Act has been registered against nine people and one of them has been arrested.

Agents in dock

The agents are in the dock for collecting lakhs of rupees from their clients on the pretext of sending them abroad. Raids were conducted after investigating scores of complaints regarding the frauds committed by these travel agencies, who act as recruiting agents without any authorisation.

During the raid at Blessing Consultancy at MD complex near Samrala Chowk, police found 11 people at centre who had come to get their visa applications made and processed. The police have booked its owner Nitish Ghai and three employees: Sonu Sood, Preeti and Chaudhary.

Others booked include Aashu Thapar, owner of A to Z Tour and Travels, Chandigarh Road; Tejinder Singh, owner of GGI Group, Gill Chowk and Ravinder Kumar, Nitish Ghai and Jasmeen Kaur of 99 Visa and Bright Solution consultancy, Ghumar Mandi.

ADCP (special branch) Surendra Lamba said raids were carried out at Blessing Consultancy; A to Z Tour and Travels; GGI Group; 99 Visa and Bright Solution Consultancy; CS Consultancy; European Consultancy; Canplus and Better Tour and Travel; SM Travel and Red Zone consultancy.

He said the operation was still in process and there were chances of more recoveries.

Lamba said the visa-on-work permit was only provided through the agents who had licence of Protector General of Emigrants. Besides four authorised recruiting agents, there are 242 licenced travel agents/immigration agents in Ludhiana, who are authorised by DC.

First Published: May 26, 2018 10:30 IST