In yet another thriving racket in the garb of helping immigration to the US and Canada, police are on the lookout for one Irfan Farooq Umarji. His travel agency Angels Multilink, operated from three branches, Bada Varachha, Uran and Kamrej, in Surat. So far, he is suspected to have swindled nearly Rs 6.59 crores from nearly 30 Gujarat-based civilians on the pretext of processing their documents.
Matters came to light after Akash Mehta, a travel agent from Adalaj in Gandhinagar, lodged a complaint with the Surat crime branch against Irfan and his employees, Shakeel Latif Mahida (Valak, Kamrej) and 26-year-old Aquib Abid Multani (Dolly Tower, Kholwad). The crime branch’s economic offence cell has been handed over the investigation.
A huge contingent travelling from Ghana to India raised suspicions after documents given to them by the accused were examined by travel agent Mehta and a Canadian immigration lawyer. All job letters and LMIA letters turned out to be bogus when verified.
Ghana, the mid-point of entry into their land of dreams, also turned out to be the place to acquire bogus passports, visas and job offer letters. “A woman, detained at Cuba and deported to Ghana, opened the murky web. In her case, she was doubly cheated. Irfan and his cronies demanded an additional Rs 40 lakhs to bring her back to India. Her family sent Rs 40 lakhs to Shakeel Mahida from Angadia,” added the source.
“His agency was poised as a bridge for students looking at higher studies abroad. However, instead of sending them to the destination specified, the nexus operated via Ghana. Some used to make it to Canada while some were put through various points of transit before returning to India. All in all, he operated an illegal immigration racket to the US and Canada via Ghana,” stated an investigating officer. The crime branch also suspects previous cheating cases.
Irfan, a resident of Kholawad, is suspected to have fled abroad. The Surat crime branch has detained two of his employees for interrogation. With Irfan clearly having fled the country, the eco cell has so far questioned Irfan’s relatives and acquaintances.