Visa Scam in Gujarat: 23 Victims Allegedly Duped of Over Rs 8 Crore

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Visa Scam in Gujarat: 23 Victims Allegedly Duped of Over Rs 8 Crore

| Updated: June 21, 2024 18:31

As many as 23 individuals fell victim to visa agents in Gujarat, losing a staggering sum of over Rs 8 crore. The victims, primarily farmers from Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha, were allegedly promised visas to the United States and Canada.

The incident came to light when Jigneshkumar Patel lodged a complaint with the Infocity police station in Gandhinagar. An FIR was filed against four visa agents: Ankit Patel, his wife Aneri Patel, their friend Vishal Patel and Ankit’s father, Shaileshbhai Patel.

The charges in the FIR include criminal breach of trust (IPC Section 406), criminal breach of trust by public servants (IPC Section 409), cheating (IPC Section 420) and criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120B).

According to the complaint, Jigneshkumar initially met Shaileshbhai two years ago at a social event. Shaileshbhai introduced his son, daughter-in-law and their friend Vishal as visa agents associated with the consultancy firm “Umiya Overseas” in Kudasan, Gandhinagar. The agents assured Jigneshkumar not only a visa but also Canadian citizenship for himself, his wife and their son, all for a hefty sum of Rs 65 lakh.

The agreement stipulated that the money would be refunded if the promised services were not delivered, with payments made in installments. Jigneshkumar submitted his original documents, including passports, along with Rs 25 lakh in cash to the agents in February 2022. He paid an additional Rs 25 lakh in March of the same year.

Despite repeated follow-ups, Jigneshkumar received no response from the agents. His suspicions grew when he learned that one of the agents, Vishal, had fled the country. To his dismay, Shailesh and other family members also stopped communicating with him.

Further investigations revealed that several others had fallen prey to the same scam. The FIR lists 22 additional victims who were allegedly cheated by the agents, with a total amount of Rs 7.75 crore charged from these unsuspecting individuals.

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