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Major India jobs scam foiled

An investigation has been launched into an Indian travel agency, which allegedly tried to con 500 people out of money by advertising fake jobs in Bahrain.

It is believed that the firm planned to collect recruitment and visa fees from 492 Indian workers by promising them jobs that didn't exist.Flyway Tours and Travels (FTT), a Kerala company, allegedly advertised jobs at the Bahrain-based Alfouz Contracting Company.
However, the Bahraini firm has denied any knowledge and says it has never dealt with the firm.
It also claimed that investigations had revealed the company was not even registered with India's Labour Ministry.

"From our investigations, we learnt that no such tours and travels company has been registered with the Indian government," said Alfouz Contracting Company general manager Jimmy Joseph.

In the letter, FTT claims to have received the power of attorney to recruit 492 workers for our company,It was signed by someone called A Salahudeen, the proprietor. With this request letter, they had also attached a copy of a fake letter claiming to be from our company, authorising FTT to recruit on our behalf in Kerala. We were shocked to see the letterhead of our company, which they had forged. They had also stamped a forged seal on the letter. The letterhead also included our company's Bahrain address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address and CR (Commercial Registration) number. But anyone who compares our original letterhead and seal with the forged ones can clearly see the difference.

He said the alleged scam came to light when FTT approached the office of India's Protector of Emigrants (POE) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, seeking permission to advertise job vacancies at the Bahraini firm and interview applicants.

The POE contacted the Indian Embassy in Bahrain to confirm that Alfouz Contracting Company was indeed planning to hire workers.

When the embassy contacted Mr Joseph, he said he had never even heard of FTT.

"Someone from Kerala tried to use our company's name to cheat people who wanted to work in Bahrain," claimed Mr Joseph.

"Flyway Tours and Travels submitted a letter on October 11 to the POE office seeking permission to conduct interviews to recruit people from Kerala.The letter was typed on a paper with the FTT letter-head and a seal. The letter-head says that the FTT is approved by India's Labour Ministry along with their registration number."He said another fake letter to the POE listed the company's requirements for workers, along with details of their contracts".

"We want everyone to know that we have never heard about this travel agency before this incident and thus have nothing to do with it," added Mr Joseph.

As far as we know, they are fraudsters trying to cheat people out of their money by promising jobs.

"We understand that the tricksters were trying to get permission from the POE to conduct job interviews and advertise vacancies in our company so they could collect money from applicants on the pretext of recruitment and visa fees and flee".

"We are really lucky as embassy officials informed us about it on time, based on information from the POE. After we denied even knowing the fraudsters, the embassy assured it would stop the scam, as well as take all possible steps to track down the culprits."

The company has also lodged a formal complaint with the Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, Kerala State Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Kerala State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

An Indian Embassy official said he was aware of the case and that an investigation had been launched.

"We are aware of this case and are following it up with the concerned authorities in India," he said.

Source: Gulf Daily News.


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