US busts 'pay to stay' visa racket, arrests 8 Indians

Updated: Feb 01, 2019, 16:18 IST | Agencies

Several foreigners, including those from India, face deportation; those arrested accused of charges of fraudulently facilitating illegal stay of 600 immigrants

US busts 'pay to stay' visa racket, arrests 8 Indians
All of the accused are either Indian nationals or Indian Americans. Representation pic/Getty Images

Several foreigners, including from India, face deportation from the US after authorities busted a "pay to stay" visa racket and arrested eight persons on charges of fraudulently facilitating at least 600 immigrants to illegally remain in the country.

In late-night and pre-dawn raids, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested eight foreigners — all of whom are either Indian nationals or Indian Americans — for aiding foreign nationals to remain in the United States illegally by actively recruiting them to enrol into a fake university in Farmington Hills in Metro Detroit. Without the knowledge of the conspirators, the university was operated by special agents of the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) as part of an undercover operation.

Simultaneously, the ICE also has started detaining foreign students of this fake university and started the process of their deportation. "Vast majority" of those arrested and detained are Indian nationals, an ICE official told PTI. The Indian Embassy here and its consulates are in touch with student organisations and offered help. It is also in touch with US authorities.

Kentucky Hindu temple vandalised
In a hate crime, a Hindu temple has been vandalised in the US state of Kentucky by miscreants who sprayed black paint on the deity and wrote repugnant messages on the walls. The incident happened between Sunday night and Tuesday morning at the Swaminarayan Temple in the Louisville city. There are no suspects but an investigation is ongoing, police said.

The fraud
. According to the indictment, from February 2017 to January 2019, a group of foreign citizens, conspired with each other and others to fraudulently facilitate hundreds of foreign nationals in illegally remaining and working in the US by actively recruiting them to enrol into the fake university.

. As part of the scheme, the indictment said, the defendants and recruiters assisted foreign citizen "students" in fraudulently obtaining immigration documents from the school and facilitated the creation of false student records, including transcripts, for the purpose of deceiving immigration authorities.

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