Human Trafficking: Punjab Police Arrest Two Travel Agents

Human Trafficking

Punjab Police’s Cyber Crime Division has arrested two travel agents involved in illegal trafficking from the state to Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries, according to Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav.

The arrested individuals have been identified as Amarjeet Singh, the owner of Visa Palace Immigration in Mohali, and his accomplice Gurjodh Singh, as stated in the official announcement.

The travel agents were reportedly sending innocent people from Punjab to Cambodia under the pretense of offering lucrative jobs as data entry operators. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the victims’ passports were confiscated, and they were coerced into working in “cyber scamming” call centers, targeting Indian citizens for cyber financial frauds, the statement revealed.

Yadav noted that, based on the statement of a victim who managed to escape Cambodia after contacting the Indian Embassy, the State Cyber Crime Police Station registered a first information report (FIR) and initiated an investigation. A case has been filed under relevant legal provisions and the Immigration Act at the State Cyber Crime Police Station.

Preliminary investigations have shown that the accused had fraudulently sent many individuals to Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries, where they were forcibly employed in centers involved in cyber scamming against Indians. “Efforts are underway to obtain details of those involved in cyber slavery and to establish contact with them and their families,” he added.

Additional DGP Cyber Crime Division, V Neeraja, reported that police teams from the State Cyber Crime Division, led by Inspector Deepak Bhatia, conducted a raid at the Visa Palace Immigration office and arrested the two accused. The accused have disclosed that they were engaged in illegal activities in collusion with other agents from different states. Further investigation is ongoing to identify and apprehend other travel agents and their accomplices, she said.

The ADGP advised citizens to be vigilant about fraudulent immigration activities and avoid falling victim to fake promises of lucrative job opportunities abroad. It is recommended to thoroughly check the background of prospective employers, especially when offered jobs as ‘data entry operators,’ and to avoid participating in illegal cyber activities. The Indian Embassy should be contacted if needed, she added.

In response to this issue, the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, has established the Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) as a single-window facilitation center to provide support services for those seeking employment abroad. The OWRC operates a 24×7 helpline at 1800113090 to offer information to emigrants and their families.

If any additional individuals from Punjab have fallen victim to this scam, they are encouraged to call the State Cyber Crime Division helpline at 0172-2226258 for further assistance through the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.

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