The Jammu Crime Branch on Monday registered a criminal case against three cheats, including an owner of a Mohali-based visa consultancy firm, for defrauding two Reasi residents on the pretext of providing work visa for Canada.

The accused have been identified as Mohali’s Aditya — who has claimed to be owner of a firm by the name “VFS Global Associates” — and his associates Daljeet Singh, also from Mohali, and Love Preet Singh of Jalal Patti Khudi Kalan, Barnala.

(A Dubai-based company has claimed the name ‘VFS Global’ has been fraudulently misused. See below for that company’s claim.)

According to the Crime Branch, Manpreet Singh and Gagandeep Kaur, residents of Bharkh village in Pouni tehsil of Reasi district, in a written complaint alleged that they had a conversation with Aditya after getting a reference about his consultancy from a television channel.

“The accused induced and lured the complainant and later also showed some kind of an offer letter from Canada and told him and his wife to deposit money in the name of health insurance, medical check-up and the processing fee,” said an official spokesperson of the Crime Branch.

“He later demanded more money for finger print forms, embassy fee and the accommodation charges for their stay in Canada. After taking an overall amount of Rs 4,59,800 from the complainant, the accused did not respond nor did he pick their phone calls,” the official added.

The Jammu Crime Branch initiated preliminary verification and established prima facie offence against the accused, said the official.

Statement from VFS Global, which claims it is a Dubai-based global visa processing firm, and not a Mohali-based firm:

“We would like to clarify that VFS Global is not an immigration or recruitment firm. It is a global visa outsourcing and technology service provider managing administrative and non-judgmental tasks for 64 governments in 144 countries. VFS Global is a portfolio company of EQT, a global private equity firm headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

We categorically state that we are in no way associated with persons named in the case as the ‘owner’ or staff member employed by the company.The association made, hence, is misleading and false, and VFS Global is not involved in this case in any way. It seems to be a case of a fraudulent entity misusing our company’s good name and reputation to scam unsuspecting citizens and we strongly condemn such acts.

VFS Global takes a zero tolerance stand against fraud and takes all such allegations very seriously, when they are brought to our notice.