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Indian held in Abu Dhabi for fake visa of friend

Press Trust of India  |  Dubai 

An Abu Dhabi-based Indian expat who enquired about a friend's job contract with an investment firm has landed in trouble as the acquaintance's employment visa turned out to be fake.

The man, who works with a private hospital, was handed over to the police by the company as the authenticity of the visa could not be verified even though it had the stamp of the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs, UAE Ministry of Interior, the Gulfnews reported today.

The employment visa was issued from Dubai on March 30 to Leo Padinharemadam Ramabhadran of Kerala's Kannur district and was nearing its expiry.

"I don't even know the person. A common friend in India e-mailed me the visa and asked me to check the status of employment with the company," the man said.

"The visa was nearing expiry, and my friend who knows Ramabhadran said he was worried that his ticket had not arrived," he said, requesting anonymity.

He said the investment company refused to listen to his explanation and handed him over to the police. The man was later released on bail.

Ramabhadran, 20, said he got the visa from a local recruiting agent in Kannur who duped him and is absconding.

"His name is Vineet Unnikrishnan and he asked me to email my documents. I also remitted Rs 35,000 to a bank account. Now the agent is absconding. We have filed a police case against him," Ramabhadran, who quit his job to go to Abu Dhabi, said.

"This agent was operating out of a small office in my town, and he had a good reputation. That's why we trusted him. I am not worried about my job or money. But I do not want any trouble for the person who tried to help me," Ramabhadran said.

"The company takes all instances of improper use of its name extremely seriously and reports all such matters to the relevant authorities," The company spokesperson said.

Seeking to protect the interests of Indians who are seeking jobs abroad, the Ministry of Overseas Affairs has published a list of registered recruiting agents who are licensed to recruit people.

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First Published: Sun, January 04 2015. 13:15 IST