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Visa Consultant Accused of Fleeing to U.S. After Duping People in Gujarat

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A visa consultant from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has been accused of duping over 20 people of about Rs 2 crore on the pretext of providing them visas to the United States, and then escaping to America with his family.  

Chandkheda Police has registered a complaint against Jayesh Panchal, who used to run a visa consultancy on New CG Road in Ahmedabad. Complainant Uttam Patel told the police that Panchal asked for Rs 50 lakh from him for getting him a U.S. visa. However, he gave Panchal only 20 lakh in advance and assured him of giving the rest of the sum after getting the visa in his possession, Ahmedabad Mirror reported. 

Patel, a businessman in construction sector, waited for the arrival of the visa till March this year. When he asked Panchal about the status, the latter assured him that he will would get the visa by May. However, Patel came to know on April 1 that Panchal has gone to the United States with his family to settle there. He took all the  money that he had collected from several people on the false promises of visa services, it added.   

After knowing about the fraud, Patel went to Panchal’s father to claim his money. But Natwarbhai, Panchal’s father, expressed his inability to pay the hefty amount his son had gathered from him. Patel then contacted Chandkheda police and filed a complaint against Jayesh Panchal on Sept.9, the publication added. 

It later emerged that at least 20 other people were duped by Panchal, who have them false assurances of getting them U.S. visas.  

Investigation in the case has been started, DS Dabhi, Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police in Chandkheda police station, told the publication. Patel and other victims have presented evidences of being cheated by Panchal.  

This incident is the latest in the recent spate of visa scams reported from all over the country. Earlier this month, four complaints of visa-related fraud were registered in Punjab against eight travel agents, who allegedly took considerable amounts from people on the pretext of providing them visas, which never materialized. 

The Australian High Commission recently warned visa aspirants about a visa scam allegedly perpetrated by a Delhi-based visa consultancy. Over 50 people had contacted the embassy after paying the agency for getting Australian visas.