Immigration racket busted in Delhi, three arrested

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) An immigration racket operating from the capital, which involved sending several people abroad through visas procured using forged documents has been busted by the Delhi Police with the arrest of three people, police said today.

The racket was busted with the arrest of its alleged kingpin Ajay Shukla, his associate Pawan Mishra and Gursahib Singh, a visa applicant, by a team of the Delhi Police's Crime Branch, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Satyendra Garg told reporters here.

The three were arrested following a tip-off about the operation of a immigration racket in Delhi.

The police arrested Pawan Mishra on February 20 from Rohini in north-west Delhi, after they recieved a tip-off that he would come to the Central market in Rohini Sector 9 with forged documents.

Fake bank statements, authority letters, visa deposit slips, visa interview letters besides two original passports, were seized from him, police said.

Based on Mishra's interrogation, it was revealed that Ajay Shukla, having an office in Safdarjung Enclave, was the mastermind behind the racket.

On basis of the information provided by Mishra, Shukla was arrested from near American embassy in Chanakyapuri on February 20, police said. Singh, who was standing in the queue for submitting visa applications was nabbed with fake documents.

A raid of the Safdarjung staff quarters in West Kidwai Nagar from where Shukla was running the racket led to recovery of computers, printers, rubber stamps, passports and fake documents, police said.

As many as 102 passports of different Indian individuals were found from Shukla's office.

On interrogation, Misra and Shukla revealed that they had sent more than 100 people to the US by using forged documents.

Police said Shukla and his associate often targetted "innocent looking" people, who queued up at the US embassy for applying for visas, and offering these people help in rectifying mistakes in support of documents.

Shukla allegedly used to charge Rs two to five lakh from prospective people who wished to travel to the US and used forged PAN cards, income tax returns and bank statements to procure visas.

This is the third largest human trafficking scam unearthed in the capital in the last one year.

In October, last year, Delhi Police had arrested 29 people on charges of human trafficking after the US embassy registered a police complaint.

The police said the 29 had approached the US embassy seeking visas on the basis of forged documents to present cultural performances in the US.

In April last year, the police had arrested Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Babubhai Katara at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on the charge of trying to smuggle out a woman and a boy on his families' diplomatic passports.

Police later arrested a few touts, who revealed the names of four other parliamentarians - three from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) (Mohammed Tahir Khan, Mitrasen Yadav and Ashok Rawat) and one from the BJP (Ramswaroop Koli).

UNI AR PY BST1907

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