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Another arrested in work visa fraud case


As a follow-up to the investigation of an overseas recruitment agency accused of defrauding people with overseas work visas, police arrested another person believed to be implicated in the case. After a complaint from a nurse, Mangaluru North police arrested Jeri Ithiel Sikha on August 14. Sikha was accused of collecting 2 lakh from the nurse who had been promised a job in Lithuania. Realizing that Sikha is not an authorized agent, the nurse demanded reimbursement of the money. As Sikha refused to return the money, the nurse filed a complaint and Sikha was arrested.

During the investigation, no less than 20 people approached the police, complaining that they had been deceived by the accused. Police arrested another person associated with Sikha. A team has been sent to Tamil Nadu to find the third accused associated with Sikha.

The action against illegal recruitment agencies abroad came after a letter from the Protector of Emigrants at the Foreign Ministry to Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar. Along with the letter, the Protector of Emigrants sent a list of authorized recruiting agencies operating in the state.

An officer involved in the investigation said the letter coincided with complaints against agencies sending people to Saudi Arabia and other countries in West Asia despite the fact that no recruitment was carried out there. The illegal agencies used intermediaries to contact the aspirants. Intermediaries receive about 3 lakh from each aspirant as a processing fee. After keeping their share, the intermediaries send the balance to the agent. The ban on flight operations and the pandemic are cited as reasons for the delay in issuing letters of offer and visas.

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