Some would-be American immigrants are paying to get robbed


From the security-camera footage final July, it appears to be like terrifying. Masked males burst right into a liquor retailer in Bucktown, a rich neighbourhood in Chicago, pointing weapons. Prospects stick their palms up, as one gunman waves his weapon furiously. Immediately, the worker behind the counter disappears, as shards of glass or liquid fill the display. He has been shot within the abdomen. The robbers flee in a stolen Kia automotive. “They mentioned, give us all the cash,” mentioned Diptesh Patel, the enterprise’s proprietor, in an interview to native TV information.

To this point, so regular. Liquor-store robberies are hardly uncommon in America. But based on an indictment unsealed in federal courtroom in Chicago on Might seventeenth, this one was staged: a number of the victims (although not the person shot) had paid to get robbed. The theft was one in all 16 that prosecutors allege had been organised by the defendants, largely within the Chicago space, but additionally in Tennessee and Louisiana. In keeping with the indictment, they had been performed “in order that the purported victims of the robberies might apply for U-visas”. Six folks, 4 of them Indian nationals, have been charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

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