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

The accused have been booked under various sections of the Passport Act. Most of the accused are from Tamil Nadu and worked 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. But 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.

In order to identify and track the kingpins of this racket, airport officials are questioning the accused. Two of the people, who were arrested, are Venkatesan Jayasimha, 23, from Cuddalore and Sathesh Sethu, 28, from Methupaly. They told the police that they had gone to Malaysia on a 30-day visit visa in December 2017 as advised by the tout. 

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

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

The accused were put to work soon after they landed in Malaysia. Local touts charged them a fee and evaded officials.

The accused would send 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.