Racketeers agonize foreigners with travel ban, arrest warrant Expats upbeat as mobile phone fraud victims win justice

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 16: The Indian who was billed for a mobile phone connection he hadn’t taken and faced with travel ban, puts up a fight in the court and wins. Shanu (Shanil A.K.), who hails from Kannur, Kerala and Shareef from Kozhikode, were the ones who were shocked with a huge mobile bill for connections they had not taken. They obtained a court ruling in their favor last week. The victory in this case provides a sense of relief to the expats and increases the faith in the country’s judicial system. A similar case currently ongoing in the court is of Rajan of Pathanamthitta, whose first hearing has been completed, and hopes to have a favorable ruling in the next sitting. There are many more who have been victims of such rackets who use others’ Civil ID to obtain mobile phone connections.

Due to the rise in such cases, lots of people have been into legal entangles for no mistake of theirs. Shanu and Shareef were two such victims. The racketeers obtain mobile phone connections using Civil ID copies obtained unethically and take post paid connections in the victim’s name. These connections are used to make mobile calls until the mobile company disconnects the line. The victims realize what has happened only when they are slapped with the huge bill. The victims then face a travel ban and a police warrant to arrest. Shanu was shocked when he received a bill of KD 454 for four connections he hadn’t taken. Most of the victims who are unaware of the legal consequences, and afraid to speak out, normally concede to the demands by paying up. But Shanu, who was not ready to pay up, tried to fight and contacted various social workers, who weren’t willing to help. A social worker in Abbasiya said he may try to help for a fee, says Shanu. At last he approached Youth India, who took up the case actively. Shanu filed a counter case when the mobile company filed a case against him. Shanu who was waiting to travel home for his marriage, is very happy to have his name cleared.

Not only the relief he obtained, but the moral strength received for many others who face such cases, to fight against it, is what makes him happy, he said. This victory also belongs to the Youth India officials who stood with him through out from start to finish, he added. Shareef too had been into a similar trap. A Kuwaiti whom he met in the restaurant in which he was working, took a copy of Shareef’s Civil ID and cheated him and had KD 900 on his name in four connections. He filed a complaint in the police stations, without any results, and that was when news of such cases were published in newspapers. He then contacted Youth India, with whose help, he filed a case in court and cleared his name.
 

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