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  Metros   Mumbai  28 Jan 2017  Canada visa scam: Conned duo gets new passports

Canada visa scam: Conned duo gets new passports

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIVEDITA NIRANJANKUMAR
Published : Jan 28, 2017, 3:26 am IST
Updated : Jan 28, 2017, 6:37 am IST

The couple will now approach the United States and Canada consulate for fresh visas.

Saugat and Ilika Bhattacharya
 Saugat and Ilika Bhattacharya

Mumbai: Around a month after The Asian Age reported about a couple, which had fallen prey to a Canada visa scam, the duo has been issued new passports. The couple will now approach the United States and Canada consulate for fresh visas. The couple was earlier informed by the passport authorities, that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials had asked the duo to return their old passports, which were forged.

This newspaper had reported on December 17 that two accused had forged the passports of Mumbai-based couple Saugat and Ilika Bhattacharya to gain illegal entries into Canada. US consulate seized the couple’s passports and then forwarded it to the Ministry of External Affairs. The couple has now been banned from entering the US, and their active visas have been cancelled.

Speaking to The Asian Age, Mr Bhattacharya said the passport authorities had approached him last week. “They asked me and my wife Ilika to come over to the office and told us that our old passports which had been forged by the accused have been returned by the MEA. They have now returned our old passports and also issued new ones,” he said. The couple were asked to submit a copy of the FIR registered at the BKC police station regarding the scam.

Visa Scam

Mr Bhattacharya said, “MEA has investigated the case and then given the nod for new passports.” The couple now plans to approach the US consulate with their new passports and file a request to lift the ban and gain entry into the United States. “We are not culprits but were made to feel like one for all these months. We are victims of a scam. The old passports have been returned to us, and new ones have been issued. This shows that we have done nothing wrong. We hope the US consulate will hear our case,” Mr Bhattacharya added.

This newspaper had revealed how three more people including Sunaina Singh wife of singer Harmeet Singh of Meet Bros fame had fallen victim to the scam. Mr Bhattacharya had lodged an FIR against Sameer Agarwal, an event manager who was planning the event on the cruise, the local agent Dinesh Khushwaha who sourced and roped in the local artists to perform on the cruise and an employee of Akbar Travels who collected the passports and applied for visas.

Tags: the asian age, canada visa scam, ministry of external affairs
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)