Three men allegedly running an illegal manpower racket have been arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police. In all, 19 passports and forged documents were purportedly seized from the accused, who had obtained 175 Schengen visas through fraudulent means in the past seven months.

The Special Operations Squad of the Crime Branch recently received a tip-off that Viraj Gupta, Pinkesh Devda and Harminder Singh were sending unemployed men, mostly from Punjab, to Europe on forged documents by charging huge commissions for arranging visas. The team mounted a raid in Mehrauli and arrested the trio this past Wednesday. Two passports bearing Schengen visas of Malta, six other passports, Rs.9 lakh in cash and forged documents were purported seized from their person. Eleven more passports and two laptops were seized at their instance, the police said.

During interrogation, the accused disclosed that their clients were mostly from Punjab. They were from agricultural background and did not have necessary documents like income-tax returns, bank statements, invitation offers, Pan card and insurance polices that were required to apply for visa.

The accused arranged the forged documents for over Rs.7 lakh per head. They took payments from the clients in instalments. Main accused Viraj would collect the passports and arrange forged supportive documents required for the visa through Harminder and Pinkesh, the police said.

According to the police, the accused would submit the passports to the High Commission concerned, where their accomplices would arrange the visas.

Viraj ran an office in Connaught Place and owns a farmhouse in South Delhi. He is primarily in construction business, the police said. Pinkesh allegedly worked as manager for him and Harminder allegedly brought the clients for him from Punjab.

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