In continuation of the investigation of an overseas recruiting agency accused of defrauding people of work visa abroad, the police have arrested one more person said to be involved in the case. After a complaint from a nurse, the Mangaluru North Police arrested Jeri Ithiel Sikha on August 14. Sikha was accused of collecting ₹2 lakh from the nurse who was promised of a job in Lithuania. Realising that Sikha is not an authorised agent, the nurse sought return of money. As Sikha refused to return the money, the nurse filed the complaint and Sikha was arrested.
During investigation, as many as 20 people approached the police complaining that they have been cheated by the accused. The police arrested another person associated with Sikha. A team has been sent to Tamil Nadu to trace the third accused associated with Sikha.
The action against illegal overseas recruitment agencies came after a letter from the Protector of Emigrants of Ministry of External Affairs to Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar. Along with the letter, the Protector of Emigrants sent a list of authorised recruitment agencies operating in the State.
An officer involved in the investigation said that this letter coincided with complaints against agencies sending people to Saudi Arabia and other West Asian countries despite no recruitment being done there. The illegal agencies have been using middlemen to contact the aspirants. The middlemen collect about ₹3 lakh from each aspirant as processing fee. After retaining their cut, the middlemen send the balance amount to the agent. The ban on flight operations and the pandemic are cited as reasons against delay in issuing offer letters and visas.
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