The Crime Branch of Kashmir Police has registered a case against travel agents and airlines operating in J&K under Section 420, 468, 471, 409 r/w and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.
The action was taken after the Crime Branch received complaints from various travel agents associations and trade bodies through the Tourism Director regarding the alleged sale of air tickets by various travel agents on exorbitant rates, acting in league with airline staff.
The Crime Branch conducted an inquiry-based on these complaints, which revealed that the officials of various airlines sold group tickets in bulk in the name of passengers who are not members of any group and neither have sought tickets as group members.
The tickets obtained in advance by the travel agents as group tickets were then sold in black at exorbitant prices as individual tickets in violation of the terms and conditions of airlines for a group booking, a police statement said.
The statement added that it transpired that the airlines, by selling bulk tickets in advance to travel agents, created an artificial and imaginary shortage of online tickets for the general public, which directly impacted the price index and resulted in high inflation in air travel rates, thus paving way for fleecing of general public by travel agents, who, by purchasing tickets at a very low cost, sold them at high rates.
The travel agents, by acting in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy hatched with airline staff, were cheating bonafide passengers and causing loss to the public exchequer by tax evasion with corresponding wrongful gains, the statement said.
(Source: This story is published on livemint and posted without any changes in the text)
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