Chandigarh: Two travel and immigration agents have been arrested in the state`s Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (formerly Nawanshehar) district and 1,219 passports have been seized from them, a police official said on Tuesday.
With three other people, they were running an illegal travel and immigration agency, a senior officer said.
This is the single biggest seizure of passports in the state where the craze among people, especially youth, to immigrate abroad by legal or illegal means is big, the police noted.
SBS Nagar district police chief Narinder Bhargava said after the arrest of two people, the police raided various places to nab three more members of the immigration racket.
"We received a tip-off that the accused were going to bring a fake visa officer. They had told the prospective immigrants that the visa officer would come to meet them. We nabbed them after laying a trap," Bhargava said in SBS Nagar, 90 km from Chandigarh.
"The visa officer, tickets and other papers given to the immigrants were all found to be fake. We have recovered 1,219 passports from the possession of these travel agents," he said.
These travel and immigration agents would lure youths by inserting advertisements in newspapers about jobs in Dubai and other Gulf countries.
They would even issue tickets to the prospective immigrants. Police investigations later revealed that all the issued tickets were fake.