Saravana Bhavan involved in US visa fraud
Unlike South East Asian countries, it's not easy obtaining visa to the West. R Sivakumar, son of Saravana Bhavan owner Annachi Rajagopal has been arrested in Chennai for submitting improper information for taking some staff to work in the US. I guess it's probably easy (in relative terms) to take chefs to foreign shores but it gets a bit difficult if they try to take waiters and other support staff.
R. Siva Kumar (40), one of the proprietors of Saravana Bhavan hotels, was taken into custody by the Crime Branch CID police here on Saturday night. He was accused of furnishing false information to obtain a U.S. visa for four persons.According to CB-CID sources, Siva Kumar had tried to secure visa for four persons on the pretext of taking them to the U.S. on a fun trip. During interview at the U.S. Consulate, officials found that their profile did not match with what was actually provided. (Link)
Most of Saravana Bhavan's international expansion has been with the help of Hot Breads Mahadevan. I wonder whether Sivakumar consulted Mahadevan before trying out such tactics. With money power on their side, I won't be surprised if Sivakumar is relieved from this case pretty soon.
According to Times of India, the people involved in the visa fraud were cooks and were about to be taken to the US under the guise of attending an industrial expo.
The four men, he had claimed, were production executives proceeding to Chicago for an international industrial fair on packaging and processing. But US immigration officials found that they were supervisors employed in his restaurants at Chennai and UAE to help customers. According to police sources, Sivakumar claimed that the four were being taken abroad to help him purchase advanced packaging equipment.Last Monday, the four met US Consulate officials for an interview. “During verification, Consulate officials found that the four employees had very little knowledge about catering machinery and that Sivakumar had falsely prepared documents and given them false designations only to get them into the US. Anthony K Ramirez, assistant regional security officer at the Consulate, lodged a complaint with the CB-CID seeking action,” a senior police officer said.In his complaint, Ramirez said he suspected that Sivakumar had devised a plan to get them jobs in the US after getting them tourist visas and that he had devised a cover — delegates visiting an expo in Chicago — to clear the way. He said he suspected that Sivakumar was involved in human trafficking. (Link)