The district administration raided several unauthorised centres of travel agents and ordered the immediate closure of more than 100 of these offices. The owners now face prosecution.According to the Punjab Travel Professional Regulation Act, 2012, agents desirous of sending people abroad should register with the Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) office.The DC, Amit Kumar, said just 30 agents had got themselves registered in Gurdaspur, Batala, Dinanagar, Sri Hargobindpur, Fatehgarh Churian, Qadian and Dera Baba Nanak. “About a 100 of other agents are flourishing illegally. They lure students and unemployed youngsters by claiming that they could earn their millions once they went to a favoured destination such as the Gulf, US, Europe, Canada and Australia. IELTS teaching centres, too, are to be blamed.We have forwarded their cases to the police,” said the DC.“Every month, a growing number of job-seekers return to Gurdaspur with the belated realisation that they have been conned. Almost all of them had spent all their savings in return for a ticket to a foreign land, unaware that the documents they got in exchange were worthless papers,” said an authorised agent.
“The bigger sharks conduct their interviews in hotel rooms and charge starry-eyed youngsters thousands of rupees for securing a passport and a job in the Gulf. Apart from students, a majority of the victims are mechanics, drivers, masons, carpenters or nurses, who cough up the sum demanded in return for a one-way ticket to the ‘promised land’,” said SSP Bhupinderjit Singh Virk.Dismal registration:
Just 30 agents had got themselves registered in Gurdaspur, Batala, Dinanagar, Sri Hargobindpur, Fatehgarh Churian, Qadian and Dera Baba Nanak.
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