Visa consultant arrested for fraud

A visa consultant from Vadodara was arrested for allegedly forging documents of a man and a woman who wanted to go to the US.

Vadodara: A visa consultant from the city was arrested for allegedly forging documents of a man and a woman who wanted to go to the US, police said on Thursday.

The crime branch (detection) team arrested visa consultant Bharat Soni yesterday following a complaint lodged by the Mumbai US Consulate office here on Monday.

"The crime branch team raided the consultant`s office in Fatehgunj area and seized a number of documents from it," crime branch police inspector J M Prajapati said.

The consultant had allegedly forged documents for sending - Vikrant Soni and Arpita Patel - to US who appeared for an interview before the consulate office in Mumbai on October 16.

The visa fraud came to light after US Consulate office verified the details and documents, including the sponsor`s details submitted by both of them.

Prior to their appearance before the US consulate office in Mumbai for interview, Soni had allegedly asked both the applicants to identify themselves as husband and wife and to tell the officials that they wanted to go on a honeymoon to the US and also to attend a social function of a relative.

Both Soni and Patel told the consulate officials that the fake documents were provided to them by Bharat Soni, a visa consultant, after paying him a fee of Rs 85,000, police said.

"A police team is looking into the case because of its serious nature," deputy commissioner of police Subhash Trivedi said.

Police is also searching for the two applicants.

"The police team visited Anand and a village in Kheda district for tracing both of them. They are yet to be found," Prajapati said.

Meanwhile, Bharat Soni was last evening remanded to eight-day police custody.


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