In connection with charges of visa fraud at the French Embassy in New Delhi, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a complaint against six people, including two former employees.
The accused Shubham Shokeen and Aarti Mandal, who worked in the mission’s Visa Department, plotted with Navjot Singh, Chetan Sharma, Satwinder Singh Purewal, Manpreet Singh, and others to issue false visas from January 1 to May 6, 2022, news agency PTI reported citing a CBI official.
“A few applicants from Punjab and Jammu submitted fake and forged letters purportedly written by a private company based at Bengaluru to the Consulate General of France, Bengaluru for issuing entry visas, for their joining private companies in Port-Le-Havre, France. The accused Shokeen and Mandal allegedly issued entry visas in favour of three other accused after taking illegal gratification of Rs 50,000 per visa, without the knowledge and approval of the Head of Visa Department,” the CBI official was quoted as saying by PTI.
Following the issue of entrance visas, the accused destroyed the relevant paperwork files.
Several files were allegedly handled by these accused over a five-month period, most of which pertain to young farmers or other unemployed persons from Punjab who had not previously travelled outside the nation, and the frauds performed.
The CBI conducted search operations at the accused’s homes in Delhi, Patiala, Gurdaspur, and Jammu on Friday.
“Incriminating documents including laptop, mobile phones, and suspicious passport have so far been recovered,” the CBI said.
“Searches at the accused’s premises are being carried out today at six places, including Delhi, Patiala, Gurdaspur, and Jammu. Laptops, smartphones, suspicious passports, and other incriminating items have all been found so far,” according to the spokesperson, PTI reported.
(With Inputs From PTI)