A FARMER from Punjab was cheated of US $10,000 last week by a travel agent, who allegedly promised to help him travel to the US. The theft came to light when Patiala native Gurvinder Singh (28) woke up at a hospital on Mira Road on Sunday, only to discover that the agent, Baljinder Singh, had served him food spiked with sedatives and fled with the money, the police said.
Gurvinder had been keen on moving to California, where his uncle lives and runs a business.
After ensuring that Gurvinder had all his documents in place, Baljinder allegedly told him that $10,000 will be needed to send him to the US. “Over a fortnight, Gurvinder put together the money, using the cash he received from the sale of crops and the money his uncle had left him,” said a police officer. In his complaint to the police, Gurvinder alleged that he was informed last week that he would be leaving on May 9 and was instructed to meet the agent at the Amritsar airport. From Amritsar, Gurvinder and Baljinder flew to Mumbai. Gurvinder was to catch a flight to the US from Mumbai, where he was put up at a hotel on Mira Road, the police said.
Late on May 9, Baljinder, accompanied by two other men, ordered dinner in Gurvinder’s hotel room. However, the men insisted on drinking first, leaving Gurvinder alone in the room. “Soon after Gurvinder started eating, he lost consciousness,” said an officer of Kashimira police station. The hotel employees are learnt to have Gurvinder taken to the hospital. It is only after regaining consciousness that Gurvinder realised that he had been cheated by the agent.