Indiana authorities have finally broken what may be well the largest fake visa scam in recent years to involve Canada. The criminal ring ran a profitable underground operation almost on the doorsteps of the Canadian diplomatic mission in New Delhi, often from the streets themselves. Additionally, the group established a false travel and tourism company in the northwestern state of Punjab.
The latest updates on the case include the news that Indian police have arrested three in New Delhi and two others in Punjab. Five men were charged with manufacturing false documents and disseminating them as genuine. This was all a part of a criminal conspiracy. The authorities are still looking for three other accomplices that are still at large.
The fraudulent visa service was said to charge Indian citizens as much as $21,000 to receive what were in reality bogus visas. The tour business, called Kaavi Tour and Travel served as a front for the criminal operations. It was located in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab.
The alleged leader of this operation was a man named Anil Kumar, which may be just one of three known aliases. Documents and files seized by Indian police indicate that the ring may have obtained more than $650,000 from unwitting victims.
Canadian High Commission staffers privately admit that people like Kumar, operating as so-called "immigration consultants" continue to be a troubling issue. Such agents are not regulated by any legislation either locally or via the diplomatic mission. This business itself has expanded substantially, especially in Chandigarh, where Canada is the only foreign nation with a visa application centre.
The tip that broke the operation came to New Delhi police back on October 13, when they were contacted by 22-year-old Sukhdeep Singh filed a complaint, saying that he and three relatives had been cheated out of their money by Kumar's associates. Instead of paying the remaining $32,000, Singh called police, who set up a sting operation.
According to the police, Kaul and two other Delhi men, Jassi Khassria and Lakhander Singh, were taken into custody in New Delhi near the Nehru Park metro station as they waited for Singh to arrive with payment. Kumar is still at large.