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Four Punjabi youth on way to USA go ‘missing’ from Bahamas, kin seek help from external affairs ministry

The families allege role of unscrupulous travel agents, say their sons last spoke to them when they reached Bahamas in August last year.

punjab Updated: Mar 10, 2018 20:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Hoshiarpur
Punjabi youth go missing,travel agent dupe,fraud

The Hoshiarpur district police failed to trace the whereabouts of four youths from Doaba who went missing on their way to America in August 2017.

The hapless families, who allege role of unscrupulous travel agents, are running from pillar to post to know about their sons, who last spoke to them when they reached Bahamas on August 2, 2017. Hailing from Purika and Abdullapur in Hoshiarpur, Manna Talwandi, Bhadal and Donal villages in Kapurthala, the families met former Rajya Sabha member and Indian Red Cross vice-chairman Avinash Rai Khanna on Saturday to seek help finding their sons. Khanna promised to take up the matter with the external affairs ministry.

Jarnail Singh of Purika, who had paid Rs 12 lakh in advance to Sukhwinder Singh, a Hoshiarpur-based travel agent, to send his son Sarabjit Singh to USA, said, “On August 2, 2017, my son called up to tell that the agent had promised them passage to USA through sea link once the weather gets clear.”

He said, “The very next day the agent called to congratulate saying our son had reached the US. But after that day, our son never spoke to us again.”

Kin of other missing youths—Navdeep Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Inderjit Singh—also narrated the same tale, claiming that they had paid Rs 12 lakh each in advance to Sukhwinder Singh and a Kapurthala-based agent Ranjit Singh Rana, while additional Rs 23 lakh was to be paid after the safe arrival of their wards.

The family members also informed that their sons first were taken to Moscow and then to Bahamas from where they went missing.

The families said, “Agent Sukhwinder Singh is a retired police personnel and agent Ranjit Singh Rana is an employee of Powercom.” Both the accused had gone underground, the families claimed.

The families also informed that they had lodged a complaint on ‘Madad’, a portal of ministry of external affairs, in November 2017 but they were yet to get a response from the government.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 20:08 IST