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Court orders $4 million refund to visa aspirants in alleged visa fraud

A court in India has directed an immigration firm accused of visa fraud to refund $4 million to 373 complainants who alleged their visa applications weren't sent for processing.

An Indian court has directed an immigration firm accused of duping hundreds of Australian visa aspirants, to return nearly $4 million (Rs 200,000,000) to the complainants by the end of this month.

Arvind Ashat, the managing director of Foreign Horizon Overseas Consultants in Chandigarh has been accused of visa fraud after he allegedly failed to send people to Australia after taking money from them on the promise of doing so within 45 days, The Times of India reported.

On receiving complaints from several clients of Mr Ashat, the police arrested two employees of his company and charged them and Mr Ashat with cheating and conspiracy in April this year. The complainants alleged that despite having received the agreed fee, Mr Ashat did not submit their files to the Australian high commission for visa processing.

Mr Ashat was given an anticipatory bail by a Chandigarh court on Monday after he gave the undertaking to refund his clients by the next date of his court appearance. His lawyer denied the charges.

A total of 373 people have approached the police with complaints of fraud against the firm. Mr Ashat’s lawyer sought more time as he said his client would have to sell his properties in order to refund the complainants.

Nearly a hundred complainants were present for the court hearing. 

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