Two agents arrested for arranging fake Schengen Visa, duping job seekers

Prithviraj Kumar and Jobin Michael | Photo: Manorama

Kochi: Ernakulam Rural District Crime Branch under the Kerala Police on Monday arrested two members of a gang involved in trafficking humans to Spain and other European nations.

The accused are Jobin Michael (35) of Alakkode in Kasaragode and Prithviraj Kumar (47) of Madambath, Kinavalloor in Palakkad.

Three Keralites – Aneesha from Aluva, Vijeesh from Kannur and Shibin Babu from Alappuzha – had recently traveled to Spain with fake visas provided by the two arrested persons. On arrival, they were nabbed by the authorities there and deported to India. When the trio reached Kochi airport, the Immigration officials handed them over to Nedumbassery police.

An investigation that followed led the police to bust the human trafficking gang.

The police said the three victims had each paid Rs 6 lakh to the agents to secure a Schengen Visa, which enables one to travel to European countries. However, the victims were educated only up to Class 12 and did not realize that they were being cheated until they were intercepted by Spanish airport officials.

Strict rules are in force to issue a working visa to Europe. These norms include high educational qualifications. However, the human trafficking racket took advantage of the ignorance of gullible job seekers with low education and provided them forged visa documents.

A team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police R Rajeev and Sub Inspector T M Sufi carried out the investigation. Meanwhile, the District Police Chief urged people to stay alert against agents arranging fake visas.

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