4 including Russian nationals held in Delhi for visa scam targeting job seekers

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Four persons including two Russian nationals have been arrested here for allegedly duping at least 63 overseas job aspirants across the country on the pretext of providing ‘work permit visa’ in foreign countries including Poland, Germany and other European nations, the police said on Sunday.

The arrested individuals have been identified as Artem Tolkachev and Igor Sirenko — both Russian nationals, Sagar Sharma and Rohit — residents of Delhi.

They were allegedy operating a recruiting/ consultancy firm, ‘WGA Visa India Pvt. Ltd’ in Delhi’s Patel Nagar area.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Rakesh Pawriya said that on the basis of a complaint received in Cyber Cell from one Yogesh Girdhari Gahane, a resident of Nagpur in Maharashtra about being duped of Rs 75,000 on the pretext of work permit visa.

The Cyber Cell traced the fake consultancy firm in Patel Nagar near the Metro station, where Rohit and a foreign national (Russian) Artem Tolkachev, were found.

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During questioning, Artem Tolkachev tried to mislead the police team when questioned about the allegations.

“He was asked to provide a copy of a valid licence/ permit issued by the Protectorate of Emigrants, MEA, India, required for operating emigration services in India, but he failed to do so,” said the DCP.

Upon searching the premises, various incriminating documents, mobile phones, laptops, payment QR codes, rubber stamps, etc. were recovered.

“Tolkachev attempted to flee but was apprehended by the police team,” said the DCP.

Tolkachev also revealed that he ran the business with his partner, Igor Sirenko, also a Russian national.

“Following Tolkachev’s lead, a raid was conducted at Igor Sirenko’s location in DLF Capital Greens at Moti Nagar in Delhi where another co-accused was found,” the police officer said, adding that multiple passports and various documents were recovered from the flat.

During questioning, they confessed to operating an unauthorised/ unregistered overseas work visa agency named “WGA Visa India Pvt. Ltd.” under the name of an auto driver appointed as the director of the company in Patel Nagar, Delhi.

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In October 2022, Sajjan Singh, an auto-driver, was offered a job by Sirenko.

Thereafter, Sirenko opened a joint account for Sajjan and Tolkachev and appointed him as a ‘director’ in WGA Visa India Private Limited.

“The motive behind opening the company was to deceive young, innocent citizens of India by providing fake work permits for employment at non-existing companies, exploiting their wish to work abroad at any cost,” said the DCP.

“They operated an Instagram page ‘wgapoland’ (WorkGroup Agency) and ran ads through social media apps to attract victims. In February/March 2023, they hired Indians through the WorkIndia App on a salary basis to target victims and convince them of their fraudulent scheme,” said the DCP, adding that their employees Sagar Sharma and Rohit were arrested after confirming their involvement in the scam.

–IANS

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