Updated 3:08 pm, Jul 19, 2018

Kabootarbazi: Mohali tops Punjab case list || SNE

By  The Times OF India .
May 03, 2018

Capture

MOHALI: If official data is any indication, Mohali district is the safest haven for unscrupulous travel agents in Punjab. It tops the state with 137 cases registered against travel agents since January 2017 till March 15, 2018. However, a large numbers of unregistered travel agents continue to operate in the district.

 

According to information, of the approximate 500 travel agents operating in the district, only 122 are registered with the authorities. The rest of the illegal agents are still selling dollar dreams to Punjabis due to ineffective implementation of the Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Act, 2012, and rules framed under the Immigration Act.

 

The137 cases that have been registered against travel agents in Mohali since last year, include 88 cases registered under the Immigration Act 1983 and the remaining 49 cases have been registered under under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC in Mohali.

 

These are ironically the highest number of cases registered against travel agents in any district of the state. Mohali is followed by 131 cases in Jalandhar, 93 in Hoshiarpur, 67 in Amritsar, 57 Ludhiana, and 55 in Kapurthala. In the state where thousands of young people risk their lives and livelihood of their parents in a bid to go abroad, only 900 cases have been registered against the unscrupulous travel agents.

 

The Punjab Police recently started a special drive against illegal travel agents in the state. Additional director general of police NRI & women wing Ishwar Singh has given special directions to all the SSPs in the districts and commissioners of police in this regard. 

 

Following the directions of the ADGP, Mohali, the police had raided offices of 18 travel agents in Sector 61, Mohali. As many as seven travel agents failed to show mandatory documents and have been put on notice by the police to produce mandatory documents soon.

 

 

The Punjab Travel Professionals’ Regulation Rules, 2013 makes it mandatory for all travel agents or those running ticketing or consultancy business, to register with the government. Those who have been in the trade for over five years have to pay a licence fee of Rs 1 lakh and who have not completed five years have to pay Rs 25,000.

 

 

The immigration agents should not be involved in any crime when they seek the licence. The Act has a provision for a maximum of imprisonment seven years and fine of up to Rs 50,000 for any travel agent who violates this law or indulges in human trafficking.

 

 

Assistant inspector general of police NRI & women wing Hardwinder Singh said, “The Act makes it mandatory for all travel agents to get a licence from the deputy commissioner. A bank guarantee is also mandatory.” He added that the law made it necessary for the travel agents to submit a list of their clients to the deputy commissioner’s office and display their licence in the office.

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