Ahmedabad travel agency dupes pilgrims going for Umrah

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Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh), June 9 (IANS) The police on Thursday recovered Rs 22 lakh from an Ahmedabad-based travel agency operating in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, which allegedly cheated over 120 people on the pretext of facilitating their ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

At least 121 ‘Umrah’ pilgrims had paid Rs 43 lakh and booked tickets for their pilgrimage through the Ahmedabad-based travel agency, Sam Travel Agency.

However, the agency kept the passports and visas of the pilgrims, due to which the people were not able to travel in March. They lodged a complaint with the police, following which a case of cheating was filed against Sam Travel Agency.

The police said in a statement that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to probe the matter.

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The SIT team contacted Gulf Air and came to know of the duping of the pilgrims by the travel agency.

As the pilgims failed to show up, the airlines revoked the pilgrims’ tickets and returned Rs 9,81,000 to Atlas Tours and Travels, and Rs 12,25,000 to Creative Tours and Travels, both based in Mumbai. The Mumbai-based travel agencies returned the amount to Sam Travel Agency in Ahmedabad.

The SIT has so far recovered an amount of Rs 22,6,400 from Sam Travels. This amount will be produced in a Balaghat court.

SIT inspector Abhishek Gautam, Sub-Inspectors Brijbhushan Hirve, Yogendra Singh Parihar, Amit Jadhaun, Ishwar Singh Chauhan and Satyendra Rajput and police aide and inspector Iftekhar Qureshi were part of the investigation.


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