A 54-year-old man was arrested from Uttar Pradesh for allegedly duping people in the name of Haj or Umra yatra, police said on Wednesday.
The accused was identified as Intezar Sayed Mehandi, a resident of Kaushambi district in UP.
The police said that in 2017-2018, Mehandi, who worked as a tour operator, promised people that he will arrange their VISA for Haj or Umra and charged Rs three to four lakh per person.
He collected money from 40 to 50 people and fled, a senior police officer said.
Later, a complaint was registered against him by a man who was duped of Rs 2.80 lakh, the officer said.
“During investigation, Mehandi was arrested from his in-laws’ house at Kaushambi district in UP,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) RP Meena said.
In 2015, he met Fakruddin Umar Ansari, a visa section officer of Saudi Arabia, who further introduced him to a Saudi Arabian national who worked as a security officer in Saudi Embassy. The person asked for Rs 60 lakh for 55 VISA permits, Mr Meena said.
The officer was later transferred to his nation in 2016, and the visa officer died. So, the accused neither could arrange any VISA for the aspirants nor returned their money, the DCP said.
He collected more money from other people in the name of Haj in 2017-2018. He further contacted another middleman in the Saudi Embassy to help him arrange the VISA during the period of Haj yatra, Mr Meena said.
He also gave Rs 10 lakh to the middleman to arrange the VISAs for Haj, but he failed to get it, following which Mehandi fled with the money, the police said.