The offices of around 20 immigration firms in the city have been sealed by the Chandigarh Police for having flouted norms. Prominent among those include WWICS,Carrier Overseas,Sri Balaji,NS Consultants,Conex,Global Visa Consultancy,Visa Ways Immigration,AEIS and 12 others.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed seven teams and sealed 20 illegal immigration companies operating in various sectors of the city on Wednesday after they were found to be flouting norms. The companies had been advertising their services for work visas without having proper documents. Three companies out of the 20 were found to be closed ,but we still sealed their offices too,said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naunihal Singh at a press conference on Thursday.
According to Singh,out of the hundreds of immigration companies currently operating in the city,only 22 are registered with the Protector of Emigrants and have valid licenses to send people abroad on work visas. Despite prohibitory orders and warnings,only 153 immigration firms have registered with the police. Singh was accompanied by P Malankar,an official of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs,which issues licenses to these for the immigration firms.
These firms were not registered with the Ministry and were advertising in newspapers and magazines without a work permit. The companies were not adhering to the guidelines set by the ministry and were cheating aspirants with false promises and charging exorbitant fees,Singh said.
The SSP added that any company that wanted to apply for a valid license was required to show a bank guarantee of Rs 20 lakh and apply with the Protector of Emigrants which further forwards the application to the Overseas Ministry.
The Chandigarh Police had set up the SIT to check the mushrooming of illegal immigration companies in the city after a spate of incidents where aspirants were duped on the pretext of being sent abroad. The SIT had earlier registered cases against many immigration agencies which were found bypassing laws and had even arrested a few people for sending people abroad on tourist visas by forging documents.
The District Magistrate had,moreover,also issued prohibitory orders under the CRPC and had made it mandatory for companies to register with the police and furnish relevant details. As such,153 companies had submitted their details with the police.
The police will now open the offices of the sealed companies one by one to verify their documents. Based on prima facie evidence,the police have registered seven different cases against the companies at various police stations for cheating and violation of the Immigration Act.
After verifying facts,liabilities will be established and accused arrested. So far,the police have picked up Mahesh Gupta and Nitin Gupta,proprietors of Cobex and AEIS Consultants.