K.N. Murali Sankar

15 cheating cases registered in the last three years

An agency charges Rs. 4 lakhs for arranging a visa for a job in US, according to a complainantJob aspirants advised to approach agencies that have licence and registration

VIJAYAWADA: A small-time job abroad surely seems promising. An assurance from an agency on a visa could place you on cloud nine. But, don't enter into an agreement in haste with any agency that throws lucrative jobs abroad as bait.

An advertisement in a newspaper may guide you to an overseas employment agency that pledges all sorts of assistance for a career in a foreign country. Be it the job of a carpenter, plumber, mechanic, driver or a domestic help, many agencies promise visas for small-time jobs before collecting exorbitant amount from job seekers.

For many people, the trip ends with making rounds to the agency's office. For a few others, it is lodging a cheating case with the police against the agency. The city police registered 15 such cases in the last three years.

Norms to winds

Though the agencies must possess a licence issued by the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and get them registered with the Protector-General of Emigrants, Union Ministry of Labour, a very few agencies in the city are following the norms, say the police.

"One of the complainants told us that an agency charged Rs. 4 lakhs for arranging a visa for a small-time job in the US," says M. Raja Rao, Inspector of Police of the Anti-Goonda Squad (AGS). He observes that the number cases against the erring agencies are, of course, fewer than the incidents of cheating in the garb of foreign jobs.

"Whether it is for higher education or for a job, those who desire to go abroad do not approach the police, as they think it's time-consuming. Instead, they search other avenues," observes Srikar Alapati, branch head of Infant Jesus Educational Consultants, the firm which deals with overseas education. The educational consultants, however, need not register with the Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Licence must

"It is time to make people know about fake agencies. The track record of city-based agencies is under scanner. Job aspirants are advised to approach agencies that have licence and registration," city Police Commissioner Umesh Sharraf says. Representatives of the agencies, however, say applying for licence and registration is a laborious process. The agencies are doing business to which confidence is the key.

The managing director of an agency is at a loss to understand as to how can an agency survive in the market duping its customers.