Hajeej invested money in other ventures: Enquiry
HAJJ ASPIRANTS DUPED
Srinagar, Nov 10: The preliminary enquiry into a recent duping case of Hajj aspirants by a private tour operator has revealed that the accused had invested the money collected from them in other business ventures.
Informed sources told Greater Kashmir that bank transactions of Hajeej India hospitality Pvt Ltd revealed that the tour operator had transferred millions of rupees from his account to different accounts which do not pertain to any of the firms connected with facilitating the holy pilgrimage.
“The bank accounts that were ceased have made it clear that money collected from the aspirants was invested into other business ventures. Only Rs 8000 were recovered from the accounts as rest of the money had been transferred to other accounts immediately after the deposit,” sources said.
The Additional District Development Commissioner Srinagar Muhammad Akbar, who is heading the enquiry committee, told this newspaper that one of the arrested partners of Hajeej, Arsalaan Waheed, during the initial questioning revealed that they had collected around Rs 9 Crore from the aspirants.
“The main accused Fabiyaan Waheed Gilkaar is absconding and hunt is on to trace him,” he said.
Akbar said that investigations have revealed that Fabiyaan owns a huge property in New Delhi. “We are ascertaining the actual amount collected from the Hajj aspirants. I request all of them to come forward with details. It will help the investigation process. They should bring the receipt of the money they paid to the accused. They can also call me on my cell 9419003894,” he added.
According to sources the Travel agency in question (Hajeej) had managed visa and Hajj programme for about 50 persons including a minister, his family, a senior police officer and his wife and several top officers to escape any action from the government.
“When you oblige people in power at such a high level and cost, who will dare to take action?” said a middle-rung officer. He said that these so-called tour operators have strong connections in political parties, police and civil administration. “If you touch them, your telephone begins to ring immediately. It can be a minister, a police or a civil officer asking you the questions,” the officer added.
This newspaper also learnt that the agency had collected (around Rs 2 lakh each) from 550 Hajj aspirant between June 2010 and November 2010.
Dr Zia-ul-Islam, of Kupwara said that his father and mother were part of the group, who had paid Rs.1.56 lac (per head) in November last year to the Hajeej. “Since then they have been telling us that our visa and tickets have been collected. At the eleventh hour they told us that their names could not be cleared for Hajj”, he said. “How frustrating and humiliating it is?” he asked.
The agency kept aspirants in dark till the last moment. Hajeej also held a training camp for aspirant at the University of Kashmir on October 15. “They always used to tell us that your travel documents are ready. You will be leaving on October 28 or 29. They had even told us that they have made ticket and travel arrangement with Go-Air. We were also told that hotels have been booked in Makkah and Madina for us,” said the aspirants.
The Hajeej, according to the aspirants, has fraudulently acquired their signatures on papers stating that in case of any dispute the mater could be referred to courts in Delhi only, in case of repayment, the company would pay only half of the amount.
Besides Hajeej, two other companies Bahreen Travels and Al Balagh Tour and Travel Agency.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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