Vadodara: The London dreams of a farmer couple were shattered when a visa adviser took their money and did not help them get a visa.
Paresh Patel, a farmer in Anand, lodged a complaint at the Sayajigunj police station on Saturday alleging fraud. Adviser Bhavesh Valand has accused himself and seven other visa activists of embezzling Rs 9.5 lakh.
Patel told police that he had contacted his friend Ravi Barot in Vadodara in June 2019 for a referral from a visa adviser as he wanted to go to the UK. Barod invited Patel to meet him at his office in the Alankar Tower in Sayajigunj, where he introduced Patel to Valan and told him that Valent was a trustworthy person and that he would take a guarantee for the latter.
At Parrot’s word, Patel later deposited Rs 1.5 lakh in Valand’s bank account. At the meeting, Valent told Patel to pay the remaining Rs 16.5 lakh after reaching London. But four days later, he told Valent Patel to meet him in Delhi with his passport and ask him to deposit Rs 2.5 lakh. After payment, Valent asked the victim to stay in Delhi for two days as their visa and air tickets would come into it.
When Patel called Valent two days later, the latter did not answer his call, so he called Barot. Barod Patel was told to come back to Vadodara and check on Valentine’s house in Sokta. Patel went to Valand’s house but he was not found there. However, he received voice messages from him that if he approached the police he should extort his money. Patel waited a year and inquired privately, at which time he knew there were seven other people besides him who had been promised visas to Singapore.