Hundreds of Indian students detained by US authorities after sting operation

New Delhi: Hundreds of Indian students were arrested by US authorties after enrolling in Farmington University, a pay-to-stay scheme run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) undercover agents to lure in foreigners seeking to live and work in the United States without proper authorization.

According to the reports, 600 students have enrolled in the university.

Meanwhile external Affairs Ministry said it was  in contact with US authorities about the detention of hundreds of Indian students who it claimed were tricked into enrolling in a fake Detroit university, a ministerial spokesman said on Friday.

“As soon as we received the information regarding their detention, our Mission contacted the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security requesting for a list of the detained students … We have placed a formal request for consular access, emphasising that the request may be taken as very high priority,” ministerial spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.

Court documents that were unsealed on Wednesday showed that visa fraud charges were filed against eight students, six of whom were Indian, who acted as recruiters who enlisted people to enroll in the fake school.

Kumar stressed a distinction should be made between them and students who “have been duped or defrauded in the process.”

Federal prosecutors reportedly argued that students had been aware the university was fake because they did not have to attend courses and were urged to show discretion when discussing the educational program. Many of them arrived in the country on student visas and transferred to the university to be able to work.

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