Canadian national, Indian wife held for duping Punjab man of Rs 21 lakh

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Police said that the couple, running an immigration office in Ludhiana city, allegedly took Rs 21.80 lakh from Kuljit Singh of village Ghudani of Khanna.

A police team from the Punjab Bureau of Investigation (PBI) has arrested a couple — a Canadian national and his Indian wife — for allegedly duping a Khanna-based man in an immigration fraud. The couple was arrested from Dehradun on March 12 and was sent in judicial remand Sunday.

Police said that the couple, running an immigration office in Ludhiana city, allegedly took Rs 21.80 lakh from Kuljit Singh of village Ghudani of Khanna on the pretext of sending him to Canada. He was neither sent to Canada nor his money was returned following which he filed a complaint with the Economic Offences (EO) wing of the Khanna police.

The arrested couple, identified as Craig Pitt (48) of Ottawa in Canada's Ontario province, and his wife, Rupali Sahu alias Rupali Pitt (33) of Dehradun, were arrested during a raid on their rented accommodation on Sehaj Dhara road of Dehradun.

Sub-Inspector Santokh Singh, from PBI who is investigating officer in the case, said that the couple was running an immigration office in the name of 'Krayger India Education' on Mall road of Ludhiana where the complainant Kuljit Singh came in contact with them.

"According to the complainant, he gave Rs 21.80 lakh to the couple for sending him and his entire family to Canada for permanent residency. The final deal was for Rs 25 lakh of which Rs 21.80 lakh were paid to them by Kuljit," said police.

However, neither was the man sent abroad, nor his money returned. Later, they also kept changing their office from one location to the other, the police said. "The complaint was filed against the couple in April, 2019 following which we summoned them for questioning but their lawyer failed to provide any satisfactory replies. Finally, an FIR against the couple was registered in October 2019 at Payal police station. They have been arrested after we got their arrest warrants issued from a local court for March 13. We raided their rented accommodation on March 12 morning in Dehradun and arrested them. The local Dehradun police from Rajpur police station of Dehradun was informed about the same," said S-I Santokh Singh.

According to the probe till now and interrogation of the couple, they got married in 2016 and Pitt had come to India in 2012. His passport had expired in 2017 and since then he was living in India illegally. "Till now we have no visa or other documents to prove that he was living in India legally," said the S-I.

The couple solemnised their marriage in 2016 against wishes of girl's family and since then they started this company to send people abroad. "We have got to know of some other victims too who have been duped by the couple but their details cannot be revealed as of now. We are probing the matter," said the S-I.

He added: "During interrogation they have admitted taking Rs 21.80 lakh from Kuljit Singh, though the final deal was for Rs 25 lakh. They are claiming that they sent Rs 12 lakh to someone in Canada through online transaction and rest Rs 9 lakh were taken in cash. However, we haven't recovered any money from them yet."

FIR against the couple was registered in October 2019 on the complaint of Kuljit Singh under the sections 420 (cheating), and 120-B (Conspiracy) of IPC at Payal police station.