Bengaluru: The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) immigration officials have arrested, between June 26 and 30, seven persons who had visited Malaysia on tourist visa, but stayed there for years. In some cases, the person(s) have even stayed in Malaysia for more than a decade. 

Most of the accused are from Tamil Nadu and have been booked under various sections of the Passport Act. They have been working in Malaysia. The police reportedly said that their visas were illegally altered before their return to India.

The immigration officials reportedly suspect that there is a ring of touts in Chennai and Malaysia, who attract people by offering them lucrative jobs. 

They are taken to Malaysia on a short-stay visa. Once they get there, they are made to work illegally. When it is time for them to return to India, they are sent back with fake visa stamps.

The airport officials are questioning the accused in order to identify and track the kingpins of this racket. 

Venkatesan Jayasimha, 23, from Cuddalore and Sathesh Sethu, 28, from Methupaly are two of the persons who have been arrested. They told the police that they had gone to Malaysia on a 30-day visit visa in December 2017 as advised by the tout. 

Others who have been identified are Mahimairaj Sathish Kumar, 28, from Namakkal; Josephin Selvarasu, 34, from Thanjavur; Senthilvelan Thiruvasagamoorthy, 40; and Onkar Singh, 23, from Ludhiana.

The police reportedly said that they all had similar stories to say. Some of them had even stayed in Malaysia for more than 14 years before returning to India, reports said.

Soon after they landed in Malaysia, the accused were put to work. Local touts charged them a fee to evade officials.

The accused had been sending money to their family through illegal means. They have to pay anywhere between 1,000 to 8,000 Malaysian ringgits to the tout to get fake visa stamps on their passports to return home, reports said.