The Q branch police have busted an international job racket by arresting two persons who had allegedly collected close to Rs.1 crore from job seekers, promising them employment in Germany.

Acting on a tip-off, a team led by R.Kennedy, Q Branch CID Inspector, Ramanathapuram, and his Sivaganga counterpart D.Chandrakumar arrested S.Jayaraman (27) and P.Rajkumar (37), and seized from them 72 passports, Rs.11.30 lakh, two laptops and two mobile phones here on Wednesday evening.

The two were arrested under sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code. The police handed them over to the District Crime Branch (DCB) police for further interrogation. They would be produced before a magistrate court on Thursday, the police said.

The Q Branch police said the two accused had been collecting money from youth from almost all parts of the state, promising them jobs in Germany for handsome salaries. Many innocent job seekers fell in their trap as they produced fake visas and bogus call letters from German companies, police said.

They collected initial fees ranging from Rs.50,000 to Rs.1.75 lakh from the applicants and asked them to pay the remaining amount after they got their first salary, in order to give an impression that they were genuine agents, the police said.

Preliminary enquiries revealed that the duo had collected money from 208 people, 72 of whom had handed over their passports to them as they were in other districts and could not produce their passports immediately for visa process.

The Q Branch police watched the activities of the duo for some time but there were no complaints against them from the victims. “We came to know that there was something fishy going on, but could not bust the racket,” a Q branch officer said.

The team stumbled upon a vital clue during their interaction with those visiting the passport office. One of the applicants told a plain-clothes police officer that he was trying to obtain a passport through a local agent to take a job in Germany.

When some of those who paid money pressed for visa, the duo produced fake letters from Germany, which quoted a company executive assuring Jayaraman that she would send some visiting visas and change them into work permits within three months on arrival of the candidates.

The police said Jayaraman, hailing from Sayalkudi, produced fake visas and letters through his contacts in Malaysia.