Mumbai Police bust ‘immigration racket’; 4 held, hunt on for 1https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-police-immigration-racket-german-consulate-4998723/

Mumbai Police bust ‘immigration racket’; 4 held, hunt on for 1

According to the police, these agents first get the men a week-long tourist visa. After reaching Germany, these people are instructed to surrender to government officials after destroying their passports.

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The German Consulate has registered two separate cases with the Marine Drive police  station. (Respresentative Image)

The Mumbai Police claimed to have busted an alleged illegal immigration racket after arresting three unemployed persons and an agent. The police are on the lookout for one more agent. According to the police, Ajmer resident Pankaj Udasin was arrested after he submitted fake documents while applying for a tourist visa. Investigators said Udasin approached an absconding agent, identified as Chirag, who is based in Ahmadabad.

The agent had told Udasin that he could help him in getting a visa, and would also assist him in finding a job in Germany. An officer from the Marine Drive police station, where the case is registered, said Udasin met Chirag in Ahmadabad. “The accused then applied for a visa on March 28 by submitting fake documents. Officials from the Consulate of Germany, while inspecting the documents, found something amiss and didn’t issue the tourist visa.”

But Udasin reapplied, and this time the consulate informed the Marine Drive police station on December 11, following which a trap was laid and Udasin was arrested. “As his visa application was kept pending the second time, Udasin called to inquire. The consulate then informed the police, who we called Udasin to the consulate at Nariman Point. We laid a trap and nabbed the accused. We are now on the lookout for the agent and have sent a team to Gujarat,” said an officer.

Earlier, two unemployed men and an agent were arrested last month by the Marine Drive police. Kunal Desai (28) and Ketul Pandya (34) were arrested along with their agent Snehal Christian (40). Investigators said they suspect there are several agents across the country approaching unemployed people and charging them lakhs of rupees for sending them to Germany.

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According to the police, these agents first get the men a week-long tourist visa. After reaching Germany, these people are instructed to surrender to government officials after destroying their passports. “The agents would instruct them to hide their nationalities so that they aren’t deported back to India.

These unemployed people would claim that they have lost their documents and have forgotten their names and nationalities. After serving their sentences, usually for a year or two, their agents would help them get low-level jobs such as construction workers in Germany. They would then settle there,” said an officer.

The German Consulate has registered two separate cases with the Marine Drive police  station. The police team have been successful in arresting an agent in one case, while a team has been dispatched to Gujarat to nab an absconding agent. The three accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating and forgery. sagar.rajput@expressindia.com