Five members of a gang were arrested for allegedly duping several people on the pretext of helping them get visa by posing as representatives of reputed travel agencies, police said on Tuesday. The accused were identified as Deepak Kumar Prajapati, Ashik Beg, Sajid, Sonu Kumar and Asib Khan, they said. Police said that during the probe, it has emerged that some foreign nationals are also involved in the fraud and may be operating from outside India. Several mobile phones, debit cards, bank passbooks and cheque books were among the documents recovered from the accused, they said.
The matter was reported to police in October, 2022 by a doctor of the Maulana Azad Medical College, who was duped of Rs 50,000 by the gang using the same modus operandi, they added. In his complaint, the victim said that while he was searching for assistance in getting visa for Dubai, he came across a travel agency online. When he contacted them, he was asked to deposit USD 1,750 USD (about Rs 1,39,766) in a back account provided by them, which was stated to be refundable. The doctor deposited Rs 50,000 in the given bank account but after depositing the money, when he tried to contact the travel agency, its phone was switched off, police said, adding that even the e-mail sent by him to the given IDs bounced back.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Sanjay Kumar Sain said during inquiry, they collected details of the bank account wherein the amount was deposited and analysed the call details record of the available numbers. The inquiry revealed that the alleged account was in the name of one Deepak Kumar Prajapati. Upon analysing the statement of the account, it was found that there were many transactions in that account which raised suspicion that he could have cheated other people also. ”The available address in the bank record was found fake and further examination revealed that the account holder hails from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. A team was sent there and accused Deepak Kumar Prajapati was nabbed,” the DCP said. Subsequently, his associates involved in the crime were also nabbed, he added. ”During interrogation, the accused persons revealed that they were being used for opening bank accounts on fake addresses and documents. Some more people are involved in the fraud,” the senior police officer said. ”When a person searched online for visa assistance, the accused would track it and then contact the person by posing themselves as representatives of authentic agencies working in the field. To convince the targeted person, the gang used to send e-mail IDs similar to that of reputed agencies,” the DCP said.