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THANE: The batch of 21 graduates including three girls, from a Thane-based college of hospitality, working in Kuala Lumpur hotels since 2013 without proper pay, could be in more trouble as visas on a few passports have turned out to be fake.
The graduates of SES College of Hotel and Tourism Management at Chendani Koliwada, Thane, were reportedly cheated by a Singapore-based travel agent of Indian origin, who assured them jobs in star hotels in Malaysia in return for money. The fraud came to light when Maharashtra Mandal, a social and cultural group of Marathi-speaking people based out of Malaysia, offered to help send the three girls back home. When they approached the Indian consulate for assistance and the travel documents were examined, the girls’ visas turned out to be fake. In fact, the number on the visa of one of the girls was in the name of a person from Nepal. The girls said they had no money as their employer was yet to pay them their previous month’s salary and they couldn’t return home for fear of being arrested at the airport for the fake visas.
The college had roped in a Singapore-based agent to coordinate jobs for its students in that country on payment of fees. An agreement was drafted between the firm which ensured jobs in a Singapore hotel and a total of 72 students. The students collectively paid Rs 37.80 lakh to the college authorities who in turn handed over the money to the firm. The first batch of around 10 students left for Singapore in January 2013, but were deported six months later, for other issues. The second batch of 21 students left in August 2013 for Singapore, but later signed a two-year work agreement with the agent who promised them jobs in the kitchen and front desk of hotels in Malaysia. One of the students said they didn’t even have a copy of the agreement.
Their parents are shocked at the developments. “I cautioned my daughter against taking up any foreign assignment, but she wanted to go abroad. Eventually, I agreed as she convinced me that a stint in a kitchen of a five-star hotel abroad will help our catering business here. But all that has turned sour now,” said a parent.
Thane institute"s catering grads stranded in Malaysia with fake visas