HindustanTimes: ‘Haven’t eaten in 5 days’: 4 Punjab youth trapped in Armenia send video SOS

The four urged the Bhagwant Mann to take action against the travel agents, alleging that a group of seven travel agents from Dhilwan and Patti duped them of Rs 4 lakh each and fraudulently sent them on tourist visa to Armenia.

Four youths stuck in Armenia have uploaded a video on social media requesting Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann to bring them back. Kapurthala police have booked six people, including an Armenia-based travel agent, for fraudulently sending the four men to Armenia on tourist visa in December last year after promising work visa.

Jatinder Singh of Amritsar district; Shamsher Singh of Bholath, his wife Pinki, and one unidentified person shared a video on social media in which they sought the help of Mann. They urged the Member of Parliament to take action against the travel agents, alleging that a group of seven travel agents from Dhilwan and Patti duped them of Rs 4 lakh each and fraudulently sent them on tourist visa to Armenia.

In the video, the youths claimed that they did not have food for five days and the landlord has asked them to leave the place.

Shamsher’s brother Jagdeep Singh, 28, of Kapurthala said he came in contact with Armenia-based travel agent through his friend Gurdev Singh. “We paid around Rs 4 lakh for work visa of my brother Shamsher and his wife Pinki. They left the country on December 3 last year but did not get any work and were living a miserable life for two months,” he said, adding that Punjab Police did not act even as a complaint was lodged at Dhilwan police station 15 days back.

Meanwhile, Bhagwant Mann said as soon as he gets the details, he will forward the case to the ministry of foreign affairs. “I hope the youth will return soon. Many people come to me regularly with such cases. I appeal to the people that they should check the authenticity of the agents and the prospects in foreign countries in advance,” he said.

Taking a jibe at the Punjab government, Mann said, “Even after so many cases and appeals, the government is not taking action against the travel agents. They should shut shops of all unregistered travel agents.”

Deputy superintendent of police (Bholath) Davinder Singh said two FIRs – under Section 420 (cheating) and Section 13 of Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act 2012 – have been registered on the basis of the statements by the family members of the trapped youths. “One agent is settled in Armenia while other accused are at large. Raids are on to nab them,” he said.

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