Beware of Fake Immigration Officer at Sunauli

#1 Jan 25th, 2010, 13:56
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  • dhruvapaul is offline
#1
Watch out for a very heavy dude who says he is Indian Immigration.
He's late twenties/early thirties, Indian, wears a dark jacket.
About 5'6" to 5' 8" tall, maybe a little taller.
Situation:
When we got on the bus from Sunauli to Gorakpur.
My family, (wife & 2 teenage children) were sitting on the bus, tickets already bought, this guy on and demanded to see our train tickets from Gorakpur. I asked who he was and he got very aggressive. I showed him my (our) eticket and he said it wasn't signed. I told him that this was the first time anyone has asked for the ticket to be signed. We had already used a few of eticket journies in India. He told me to get off the bus. He said only one of us should get off the bus so he could check the ticket. I got off with him, he looked at the ticket again in the half dark, then told me to get back on the bus. A canadian guy, whom we had met on the bus from Katmandu to the border, was told he had to buy a train ticket because he didn't have on. The guy said the train station ticket office was closed and he had to buy one from accross the road. He didn't want to make or have
trouble so he complied with the guy's wishes.
In the meantime, the guy got back on the bus and demanded that we need to buy more train tickets because our eticket was not valid because it was not signed. He said directly to my wife that he would smash my face if we didn't buy more tickets. My daughter supported our claim that we have never needed to have our eticket 'signed' before. A few aggressive words were spoken by the guy, for example he shouted "Get back to Nepal"many times,then he got off the bus. Our Canadian friend returned and showed us the train ticket he was forced to buy, to Delhi. We looked at it and pretty much realised this was not a 'real' ticket. He had spent about $40 on it.
It took a long time for the bus to leave, but the guy did not return. When we all got to Gorakpur Station we found out that our friend had got ripped off.
Beware of this guy, he is a nasty piece of work.
Dhruva
#2 Jan 25th, 2010, 14:05
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#2
this is ridiculous...... dint the other public in the bus object that man or support you??
#3 Jan 25th, 2010, 14:50
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  • delhiSIX is offline
#3
Dhruva:I would recommend you to change the title from Sunauli to,"Beware of fake Immigration officer".
This will ensure better visibility to post and would help other IM's as well.
#4 Jan 25th, 2010, 15:50
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#4
Good advice for travellers, However I wonder if it is just a single guy or a group of people running this scam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhruvapaul View Post ....and demanded to see our train tickets from Gorakpur. I asked who he was and he got very aggressive.
....He said directly to my wife that he would smash my face if we didn't buy more tickets.
These should have been reasons enough to ask him to get lost.
Sometimes, the joy that the Daybreak brings, is unparalleled!
#5 Jan 25th, 2010, 17:45
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  • dhruvapaul is offline
#5

Beware of Fake Immigration Officer in Sunauli

Hi Guys

Did others on the bus try to help?
No, but the Indian guy sitting next to my wife told her later that he was trying to pull a scam. A bit late I thought. Also the guy was only speaking English, so i'm not sure if the Indians on board knew what was going on.
When we got to Gorakpur i actually asked the driver & the conductor about the guy, but didn't get a straight reply, which i felt was fishy.
There must be at least one other in the scam because of the guy issuing fake train tickets.

Dhruva
#6 Jan 25th, 2010, 18:20
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#6
Mod Note:
I have changed the title of this thread and deleted the other thread started by the OP with the same name.
#7 Jan 28th, 2010, 17:51
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  • Crunkles is offline
#7
I think I ran into the same guy last July. I was waiting on the bus from Sunauli to Gorakhpur when this guy comes on and starts telling me and some other foreigners to move around and where to put our bags and that he works for the Indian government. He then started bothering these British guys about their train tickets and started arguing that they needed to pay a "confirmation fee". The argument ended up getting pretty heated and he called one of his friends on the bus and started yelling out threats (including that he'd kill the british guy if he didn't pay and that if he tried to call out the window for help he would smash his head through it). The guy even yelled at me that "this wasn't my father's bus!" after I told the British guys that he wasn't a real immigration official. The British guy ended up giving him 500 rupees, but the guy then asked for more. Eventually the guy hits the British guy in the jaw and a fight breaks out, me and a few of the other foreigners pull the British guy back and I think some locals pulled the Indian back at which point the bus starts moving and the Indian gets off.

I wonder how long this guy has been doing this for, when I got my money changed a police officer there even warned me about some "bad men" that were on the bus and not to give my ticket until the bus starts moving. I'm amazed hes still able to do this after all this time. That was actually my first 20 minutes in India and it left me with a rather sinking feeling, luckily things only got much much better from there.
#8 Jan 28th, 2010, 18:56
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#8
....Seems situation is really bad and may be he has blessings of local cops and politicians.
#9 Jan 28th, 2010, 19:27
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#9
if i ever meet this guy,i will smash his face i swear !
bad people like this spioils a good country nightmare to travel.
#10 Jan 29th, 2010, 10:08
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#10
I think they even mention these guys in Lonely Planet, something about bullies hanging out at a cafe near the bus stop. I'd look it up but I've already gotten rid of mine.
#11 Jan 29th, 2010, 10:24
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  • anar is offline
#11
disgraceful, that this rotten individual can continue to operate with impunity for all this time. i can only imagine how frightening it must be to be at the receiving end of this con. perhaps he is an ex-cop - how else can he act so brazenly and get away with it? where is sunauli? sounds like uttar pradesh.
#12 Jan 29th, 2010, 13:28
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  • brishti is offline
#12
sunauli, being a border ' outpost ' - makes non-indian tourists even more susceptible to scams.
found an interesting write-up [ even though it is wikitravel, but whathehell... ]

sunauli



:brishti
#13 Feb 28th, 2010, 21:11
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#13
I wanted to add my story about this scam to this one, to show that its still very much active. This happened to me this morning.

You get to buy traintickets for onward travel to Gorakhpur (whether you actually want to or not). I had however heard a lot about this new online way of getting tickets that had come in vogue since I last visited in 2004, so I was willing to give it a try. However they at first tried to horribly overprice the ticket, in a very threathening situation. Nice guys are replaced by angry looking bodybuilders... I thought what the heck and payed for a only slightly overpriced ticket in the end. However afterwards they give you a ticket for the wrong class or a fake ticket. This is still the harmless part...

Then they started threatening to beat me up if I didn't hand over more money for the ticket. Jabbing me with their fingers, standing around me pushing... They repeatedly did this, in front of onlooking crowds. However I called their bluff and got away with only the original 500 rupees loss on the ticket. A russian guy who came after me, and who I tried to warn, but they prevented this by coming back for another round of, 'Ill hit you straight in the face if you don't...', ended up handing over 75 dollars...
#14 Feb 28th, 2010, 22:15
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  • labrol is offline
#14
This is shocking. And this is scary even for an Indian in that lawless outpost.I have put a complaint to the DG Police UP by email with reference to this thread. I will update if and when I get a fedback.
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#15 Feb 28th, 2010, 22:36
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  • Dacoit Chief is offline
#15
This is quite awful. I think most people who have travelled around India get used to 'tout' scams where people try and rip you off by making you go to a "tourist office" or telling you that your ticket is no longer valid, or that your hotel no longer exists etc. A persistant "NO" usually solves most of these! But this is so very different as it involves physical intimidation and violence! How can this be tolerated in a border area? I would have thought that this is an area under the jurisdiction of India's supposedly competent (and no-nonsense) BSF (Border Security Force)!! If not, they should be made aware of this situation.

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