The CID (crime) branch of the Gujarat Police has launched a probe against three more visa consultancies for alleged forgery of various documents in its investigation into illegal immigrants originating from the state.
This is in addition to the criminal proceedings initiated against six visa consultancy firms after FIRs were lodged for forgery of various documents such as school and university marksheets, bank statements and work experience certificates.
The FIRs were filed after the CID raided 17 visa consultancy firms in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Vadodara on December 15. Three weeks later, only six were facing FIRs, while 11 other consultancy firms had not seen any criminal action.
However, three of the 11 firms have now come under the CID lens in the aftermath of the raids. These include Gandhinagar-based Proton Consultancy in Kudasan, First Step Overseas Consultants at Maninagar in Ahmedabad and Shree Overseas in Ahmedabad.
At Proton Consultancy, the police seized two mobile phones of its proprietors Nirav Vikrambhai Patel and Avinash Yogeshbhai Patel — both residents of Umiyanagar at Mota Chiloda in Gandhinagar. The phone data is being analysed by the Forensic Sciences Laboratory.
According to police, 138 different marksheets were found from the two phones. Forensic analysis of seven marksheets remain to be completed, while three of the 131 analysed have been found to be suspicious.
Even as its proprietor Bhavikbhai Siddhpura is under the police scanner, prima facie, no fraudulent documents have been recovered so far from First Step Overseas Consultant. College documents such as transcripts and degree certificates of two students, and class 10 and 12 marksheets of 154 students found from the consultancy have been verified and proven legitimate. Analysis of more documents seized from the firm remains pending.
At Shree Overseas, cross-verification of seized documents, including class 10 and 12 marksheets, with the respective education boards and universities is underway. Another 117 class 10 and 12 marksheets have been sent to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Board for verification of which 94 have been verified so far.
Six passports were also seized from the firm and sent to the regional passport office in Ahmedabad for verification. The police are also examining the bank statements of the firm’s proprietor Vivek Patel.
Along with document verification, they are also calling the firm’s proprietors for interrogation before proceeding with criminal action, a CID Crime official said.
© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd
First uploaded on: 04-01-2024 at 21:43 IST