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Visa Fraud Cases In Gujarat Rise 113% In Three Years

| Updated: March 11, 2024 13:26

According to the Gujarat government, the state has reported a 29% rise in visa fraud cases in 2022-23 as compared to 2021-22.

Replying to a question by Danilimda MLA Shailesh Parmar in state assembly, the government said, from 48 such cases in 2021-22, the financial year 2022-23 saw 62 cases.

It also said that in the three financial years ending March 31, 2023, Rs 74.15 lakh was reported lost in 139 complaints relating to visa cheating, with 114 accused arrested and 139 reported absconding.

Data revealed that compared to 2020-21, cases increased by 113% in 2022-23. Only 29 cases were reported in 2020-21.

Between April 2020-21 and March 2022-23, Vadodara city led the tally with 31 cases followed by Ahmedabad city with 26.

An officer said that recovery was low as 139 accused are still at large. The officer said that apart from the 139 cases reported, one case in Ahmedabad city registered in 2022-23 was cancelled. Similarly, a case in Surat city was also quashed in 2021-22.

A senior officer in Ahmedabad city said that in 70% of such cases, an aspirant is cheated using false promise of job or work permit in US or Canada. Another 20% relate to education visas and the final 10% involve visitor visa cases.

The officer added that in many instances, people who have been cheated do not report the fraud fearing being linked to illegal immigration cases.

In such cases, the perpetrator cheats a group of people, shuts shop and moves to another city or town to start afresh. The officer said that the number of wanted persons is high in rural areas of Mehsana, followed by Kheda.

Vadodara city police commissioner Anupamsinh Gahlaut said the reason for the high number of visa fraud complaints in Vadodara is that it is an educational hub in central Gujarat.

“People from surrounding districts also come to the city to get visas. Thus, the number of such cases is higher here,” he said.

Sources in the police department said that as Vadodara has always been an education hub, many visa consultancies have been operating there for decades.
“Taking advantage of the large number of students looking to study abroad, fraudsters cheat them. Many students from south Gujarat also come all the way here for student or job visas,” a police official said.

Vadodara police files separate FIRs in most such cases instead of clubbing the names of complainants in a single FIR.

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