ISLAMABAD - When a swindler wishes to fleece Pakistanis, the easiest way seems to be telling them that he can get them visa or nationality of a prosperous country. The same has been done by a crook recently who advertised in a local paper posing as an immigration consultant for Iceland, which has no immigration scheme at all.
It is heard many times, agents looted innocent people offering them visa or nationality of countries like USA, Canada and UK that they never gave and ran away after minting large sums from dozens of people. But all these aforementioned countries at least do have immigration schemes though they have very tough criteria for it. But Iceland’s immigration office in a mail has clarified that the country has no immigration scheme for the foreigners at all.
In the aforesaid case, the overconfident, or may be ill-informed, crook in an advertisement in an Urdu Daily offered immigration services for Iceland. The fraudulent person provided just a website address in the ad, claiming he has his offices in Iceland and some other countries but not in Pakistan. On the website, “visawithpassport.com”, he has uploaded pictures of Iceland to give an impression of genuineness.
The swindler claimed he will not only get the applicants to Iceland but also get them passport within 45 days. At first stage the applicant has to submit 100 pounds ‘case evaluation fee’ that can be sent only through Western Union. Giving the level unemployment in Pakistan and huge number of desperate Pakistanis wishing to go abroad, many would have already sent the said amount to this criminal.
A potential victim Muhammad Kashif, who narrowly escaped the loss of 100 pounds, wearing a smile on his face said, “The advertisement was very appealing. Keeping in view the country’s bad economic state and lack of opportunities, anybody would like to go for it but unfortunately that did not appear to be true and I am still in Pakistan.”
He said, “Not only me but my friends Sarfraz Zahoor and Mumtaz were immediately ready to go to Iceland and 100 pounds did not seem a big deal for immigration of a developed country. We might have paid the crook but fortunately a friend suggested that we should write to the Iceland Embassy asking if they had any such scheme.”
“We mailed to the Embassy the same day and after 3 or 4 days they replied with categorical denial”, he said. But Kashif raised two very important questions: Why it was not mandatory to show an NOC issued by the government to the newspapers to get such ads published? Why the government was a silent spectator while such crooks fleeced the innocent?