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‘Offered’ Gulf jobs, 80 duped by travel agent 

Jalandhar: A local travel agent allegedly duped over 80 youths by giving them fake visas and travel tickets for Middle East countries. The issue came to light when a part of the group was left stranded at the Delhi International Airport on December 24.The victims, hailing from various districts of Punjab, protested outside the absconding travel agent’s office and filed a police complaint against him.Narinder Kumar of Jandiala Manjki village said the accused agent, Vishal Sharma, who had an office near the Jalandhar bus stand, had put up an advertisement for jobs in Dubai and Kuwait in a local newspaper last month.“While he sought Rs 60,000 to provide placement at a milk plant in Dubai, he sought up to Rs 1.20 lakh to provide placement as security guards and drivers in Kuwait,” said Kumar. He said for Dubai, a monthly salary of 1,500 Arab Emirates dirham (Rs 26,000) was offered and for Kuwait, job aspirants were offered a monthly salary of up to 180 Kuwaiti Dinars (Rs 38,000).The accused handed them visas and travel tickets last week and asked them to reach the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in two groups. While a group of 40 persons was called on December 24 to board a flight to Dubai, another group to Kuwait was called to report at the airport on December 27.However, when the first group showed their visas and travel tickets at the airport, they were told that those were fake. The youths tried to contact the agent but to no avail.“The accused had even made a fake passport, a copy of which was handed over to us. When we went to the address mentioned in his passport, it too turned out to be a fake,” said Sukhwant Singh, another victim from Bajuha Khurd village.Jalandhar DCP Rajinder Singh said a complaint had been received by over 80 youths who met Police Commissioner Praveen Sinha. A search is on for the travel agent.

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