February 4, 2023

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India-UAE flights: Expats duped by pretend journey approvals – News


The UAE Embassy in India has warned desperate travellers about fraudsters seeking to make a brief buck.&#13


If you are a UAE resident caught in India and desperate to return to your spot of work, then view out for phony flight approval letters staying peddled by scamsters posing as UAE Embassy authorities.

The warning will come from a UAE Embassy formal in New Delhi right after Khaleej Times contacted his place of work as element of an investigation to discover out how conmen were being working with a phony web-site (https://www.uaeembassy.in/) to tout approval letters to unsuspecting UAE inhabitants.

The bogus portal went offline not lengthy following Khaleej Times reported it to the applicable UAE authorities. But though it was live right up until the night of July 26, it reportedly looked so convincing that those anxious to return to their jobs or be reunited with their family members fell for it hook, line and sinker.

The official url of the UAE Embassy in New Delhi is https://www.mofaic.gov.ae/en/missions/new-delhi. Having said that, those people who arrived across the pretend web site after a Google search for “UAE embassy in India” (see Screenshot 1) mentioned that the latter obviously appeared the section.

In the meantime, people jogging the solid web page ongoing to reply to e-mails and carry out transactions right until the time of publishing this story on Tuesday. They did so when impersonating UAE diplomats, as Khaleej Moments discovered out in a affirmation letter this journalist been given (see Screenshot 2).

Hundreds of UAE inhabitants now stranded in India have been desperately checking out ways to get back again to the nation due to the fact flights were being suspended on April 24.

Dubai-centered health care specialist Linsy Monse, 40, informed Khaleej Moments that she paid out Rs8,000 (approx. Dh394) for what she believed was an approval letter from the UAE government for her teenage daughter to fly again to Dubai.

The letter had a non-existent “UAE’s Ministry of Inside and Naturalization & Immigration Division (sic)” header gleaming at the prime. At the bottom was a purported signature by the Director of Dubai’s Normal Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), alongside with the authority’s hotlines 8005111 and 04-3139999 shown as contact quantities.

A easy Online search verified that these numbers do not, in simple fact, belong to the unrelated Dubai watchdog human body Al Ameen as claimed on the fake letter — but Monse stated it was far too very little, much too late.

“I had my doubts only immediately after receiving the letter but, sadly, I had previously paid out the money and there was no way I was going to get it again,” reported Monse, a Dubai resident for two many years, following realising that the letter of approval in her inbox was fantastic plenty of for a flight to nowhere.

Before, when she wrote an e-mail to what she believed was the UAE Embassy in New Delhi in the hopes of receiving an acceptance for her entirely vaccinated daughter to fly again, she said she acquired a reaction from the “Ambassador’s office” in just an hour.

For a mom choked by thoughts of probably meeting her daughter once more following months, it did not issue that a person email directed her to make contact with an “agent” on WhatsApp, even though a 2nd, created in laboured English (both of those of which Khaleej Moments has found), warned her to pay back the “approval letter fees” in 24 several hours.

“All I was contemplating about at the time was an close to weeks of separation from my daughter. Who would have considered it was not to be?” rued Monse, who feels she is just one particular of the scores of victims to have coughed up hundreds of dirhams to fraudsters posing as diplomatic officers with the UAE Embassy.

Investigation released immediately after far more instances arise

In accordance to sources near to the issue, V. Muraleedharan, Union Minister of Point out for Exterior Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs of India, has now introduced an inquiry soon after additional circumstances emerged.

UAE citizens Naveen Balan, son of former Kerala minister A. K Balan, and his spouse Namitha Venugopal were being requested to pay back Rs16,000 (approx. Dh789) for two ‘approval letters’ they considered they had been going to obtain from the UAE Embassy in New Delhi.

Stranded in Kerala for months owing to ongoing vacation restrictions and desperate to return to the UAE, they attained out to the swindlers thinking they were being in search of assistance from true Embassy officers. They were asked to shell out the money for the two letters in advance of they claimed the incident to the cyber criminal offense mobile of the condition police, in accordance to a nearby media report.

A further UAE resident who fell for the scam stated the bogus Embassy web site and its speak to aspects appeared “too formal to be fake”.

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“I was led to the site following a Google search threw up its link at the quite prime. Even the e-mail address looked real, although there were being telltale indications — like an e-mail asking for an agent to be contacted on WhatsApp for payment. I desire I experienced completed my due diligence,” explained the engineer based mostly in Sharjah, who paid out just more than Dh1,500 for approval letters for his loved ones of 4 that he has considering the fact that uncovered are faux.

This is not the 1st time, suggests Embassy official

This is not the initially time the UAE Embassy in the Indian capital has fallen prey to these kinds of operators, a source at the mission informed Khaleej Situations on Monday night.

“India’s Covid reaction in recent weeks has been vastly effective in opposition to fresh situations and we are hopeful that standard professional flights from the region to UAE will resume quickly. But all those UAE citizens currently ready to return from India will have to patiently carry on adhering to the government’s directives and protocols until then. And they will have to know that the UAE Embassy in India can not and will not situation any unique acceptance letter to fly out of India to the UAE,” the officer clarified.

India-UAE flights: The hottest

Flights from India to the UAE will stay suspended right until at minimum August 2, countrywide carrier Etihad Airways said on Monday. The airline’s shopper provider representatives educated passengers of the update on its official social media account. It further more extra that the date could be extended, dependent on directives by UAE authorities.

It has been 3 months considering the fact that passenger entry from India to the UAE was suspended. A 10-working day suspension of inbound journey from India was to start with introduced by the UAE’s National Emergency Disaster and Catastrophe Management Authority (NCEMA) and the Typical Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on April 24.

Only 8 classes of travellers are permitted to enter the UAE from countries where by passenger entry is suspended. However, there are particular Covid basic safety regulations and protocols in spot to aid their entry.

For instance, UAE Golden (10-year) and Silver Visa (5-year) holders cannot just book a ticket on the net and fly. They have to generate suitable paperwork to the airline office environment concerned.

If all the paperwork meet the eligibility requirements, they are then vetted by the suitable UAE authorities and approvals are sought. Only immediately after that can they board a plane and fly.

(With inputs from Juidin Bernarrd)



Abhishek Sengupta

Abhishek is the head of multimedia at Khaleej Moments and has worked in radio and tv channels in advance of becoming a member of UAE’s very first English day-to-day. Semi-competent in breaking news and storytelling for visible and print media, he feels he is extra snug conversing than composing. A foods and journey fanatic, he is often chaotic producing itineraries when not generating video clips for Khaleej Periods.