Tour operator takes 15 Odisha families for a ride

Bhubaneswar: Over four dozen people from 15 families from Odisha have allegedly been cheated by a tour operator as they fell into the trap of deceptive advertisement offering holiday package outside India at unbelievably low prices.

One such victim was Sanatan Behera and his family who suffered a bolt out of the blue after they found the tour operator’s office locked yesterday. To their utter surprise, they found a crowd of 14 other duped families in front of the locked premises.

While Behera dialled the agent’s number, his calls went unanswered raising suspicion in their minds.

The helpless people approached the Sahid Nagar police station where they filed a complaint against the proprietor Devi Panigrahi of forgery and cheating.

As per reports, Bhubaneswar-based Aiwa Travel Tour Pvt Ltd having branches in seven other states and Bangkok had put out an advertisement offering holiday tours at tempting prices.

Behera family, hailing from Ranipatna in Balasore, and several others contacted the tour operator to enquire more about the packages being offered. Unaware of the deceitful design, the gullible persons went ahead with the formalities to realise their dreams to fly to overseas destinations.

Documentation process began and payments were made against travel documents. In return, the operator allegedly sent them photocopied air tickets, accommodation and tour details.

Yesterday, the travellers arrived at the capital city to collect their travel documents and tickets as their flying date was nearing. The excitement of foreign travel during Durga Puja was short lived after they realised that they have allegedly been tricked.

Meanwhile, the police have begun investigation into the incident.

The office situated hardly about 300 m from Rasulgarh Square remained shut and the calls made to it were unanswered.

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