Mumbai Crime Watch: Fake travel assistance offer used to dupe over 250 migrants in Bhayandar

As states grapple with the problem of sending thousands of stranded people safely to their home states amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and consequent lockdown, some fraudsters are trying to take undue advantage of the situation by fleecing the hapless migrants.

Sleuths from the Navghar police have registered an offence against the officer bearer of a local trade union for fleecing migrant workers in an industrial area of Bhayandar (east). More than 250 gullible workers have allegedly fallen prey to the evil designs of the accused who was found to be extorting Rs. 200 from each traveller towards registration charges for procuring needed forms and facilitating their journey. The migrant workers were also given receipts for the same.

“Yes, an offence under Sections 188, 279, 270, 271 and 290 of the IPC has been registered against the accused. Further investigations are on,” confirmed a police officer.

The migrants have been urged to not believe in rumours and be persuaded by fake travel assistance offers by such unscrupulous elements.

According to a state government directive, those who want to leave for their home states should submit an online application along with a medical certificate, confirming that the aspiring travellers do not have any sign and symptoms of influenza like illness. However, people, mainly unskilled and illiterate workers, are neither aware of the procedure, nor are they in a position to comply with the digital system which also necessitates the uploading of photos and documents in compressed file sizes.

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