Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 2
As many as 12 persons hailing from Nurmahal and Phillaur held a press conference here today to expose a fraudulent travel agent. The alleged perpetrator, identified as Gurwinder Singh, a resident of Achan Chak village in Phillaur, was accused of swindling the residents of Rs 1.80 crore on the pretext of facilitating visas for their children to the United States.
The victims said Gurwinder not only took their hard-earned money, but also provided them with counterfeit visas. Every person was approximately duped of around Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. The suspect neither gave them visas nor returned their money.
Sharing his ordeal, Harpal Singh (48), one of the victims from Phillaur, said he sold 10 acres of land to send three family members, including his son and son-in-law, to America. “After being introduced by Anita Rani, a fellow resident, I paid him a sum of Rs 45 lakh in 2021. They even connected us with a Jagraon girl, who was then based in America. She also vouched for them,” he lamented.
“Gurwinder had promised us of returning the money, but to no avail,” he said.
Sadhu Singh, another victim from Phillaur, said he paid Rs 40 lakh to the suspect to arrange visas for two of his family members. The suspect failed to arrange visas for them. They have even filed a complaint with the Phillaur police, but no action had been taken yet.
“We, all victims, are uneducated and fell into the trap of false narratives by Gurwinder and Anita. We sold our lands and ancestral properties to arrange funds. Now, we are left with nothing”, he said. The victims are now demanding an impartial inquiry into the matter.
SSP (Rural) Mukhwinder Bhullar said he met with the victims today. He had sought all necessary details, including copies of fake visas and transaction records, from them by Monday. “Based on the evidence, we will start a thorough investigation and register an FIR against the suspect,” he said.
Bhullar also appealed to residents to exercise caution and verify the credentials of travel agents before making any payments.
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