Police officials in Jalandhar have arrested an education agent, working with Education and Migration Services, in connection with hundreds of Indian students being served deportation notices to leave Canada after their admission letters were found to be fake.
According to CBC's The Fifth Estate, Rahul Bhargava, was arrested while two of his partners Brijesh Mishra and Gurnam Singh are still on the run.
The agents are set to face multiple charges under the Indian penal code (IPC) concerning forgery, cheating, etc.
Students put the spotlight on Brijesh Mishra
Students have claimed that Mishra, who has been mentioned in various reports as one of the primary accused in the case of cheating the students, charged between 15-20 lakhs from them for admissions into various prominent institutions across Canada.
Since Mishra's organisation is popular in Jalandhar, many of the students and parents trusted him to fulfill their dreams of pursuing studies and settling down in Canada.
According to a letter written by the students, they were asked to pay one-semester, or full-year tuition fees through Mishra’s portal. The parents eventually paid the tuition fees through bank transfers or cash.
“He submitted our application online, but many applications were submitted on paper at VFS Jalandhar. He planned and played very smartly. The day we submitted our application at VFS Jalandhar, he told us to go to the centre, and later he would provide us with the complete application for submission, and he sent his guy with us for submission at the centre,” the letter continued.
The students took admissions in lesser-known colleges after Mishra called them up to inform them that seats have been filled in top institutions such as Humber College, Fanshawe College, Seneca, and more.
Between December 2021 and mid-2022, the students who had already received their post-graduation work permits or PGWP received a notice from the CBSA regarding the interview under Section 44A, with the topic being that the agency had discovered the admission letters to be false.
A few of the pupils have already had hearings regarding their cases, and some have received exclusionary orders and five-year entry bans.
Punjab Police cancels license of Mishra's company
According to CBC, the deputy commissioner of Jalandhar cancelled the company's license on March 21, alleging that it's indulging in criminal activities. The Anti-Human Trafficking unit of the Jalandhar Police Commissionerate is currently probing the matter.
Authorities speak up on reports
While speaking to the Free Press Journal, Humber College denied having any working relationship or knowledge of Brijesh Mishra.
"Humber has no knowledge, nor have we worked with the agency and agent mentioned in the media articles,” stated Sylvie Lendvay, who serves as a Media Relations Specialist at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Media.
Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) which has served these deportation notices, also highlighted an increase in fraudulent activities in Canada, aimed at international students, and told FPJ that it's working in line with CBSA Quebec Region Enforcement and operational highlights to uncover schemes, wherein pupils were being enrolled in unsubsidized private institutions.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)