Rahman Khan paid €6,000 to come to Malta for a well-paid job but will return home heavily in debt after he was not given work as promised. 

The 45-year-old is among several who feel cheated by Abroad Study Plan, an Indian employment agency that sends people to Malta and other European countries promising decent jobs.  

Times of Malta spoke to nine people who came to Malta through the agency, which is owned by Anilkumar Ghanta. 

Video: Matthew Mirabelli, Editing: Chris Sant Fournier

All said they paid thousands of euros to migrate to Malta and seven said they were left jobless after arriving. 

“A lot of people that came through him [Ghanta] are suffering,” Khan said. 

Khan arrived in Malta last September and received a work permit as a food courier a month later.  

But he said he was never given the job or earned a salary. 

“I never met anyone from that company; I don’t even know who the owner of that company is,” he said.  

Ghanta is making a lot of promises that “trap people”, Khan alleged.  

Abroad Study Plan’s YouTube channel has over 16,000 subscribers. Screen grab: YouTubeAbroad Study Plan’s YouTube channel has over 16,000 subscribers. Screen grab: YouTube

On his YouTube channel and in his offices in Hyderabad, Ghanta promises salaries that range between 1.5 lakhs (€1,700) and 2 lakhs (€2,250) per month, he said. 

Khan was idle for two months waiting for the job before deciding to return to India last November.  

He returned to Malta in April after Ghanta said a job was now waiting for him. 

But his hopes gradually turned to desperation as Khan was again left jobless for six months, the 45-year-old said.   

WhatsApp messages seen by Times of Malta show Khan repeatedly asking Ghanta for updates on his job prospects.

Instead, Khan has had to rely on his relatives in India to pay for his basic needs. 

His work permit validation has now expired and he will have to head back home. 

He said that Ghanta also offered to take him to work in Latvia but asked for some €2,000. Khan refused.  

“He has not done anything for me here so how can I believe him?” Khan said. 

He said he had decided to come to Malta to pay off debts he had incurred when his business went under. He had been running a small beverage distribution business before the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to close shop, incurring some 10 lakhs (€11,000) in losses. 

A lot of people that came through him [Ghanta] are suffering

With the Maltese salary he was promised, Khan planned to pay off his debts. 

But he is now further in debt because of the money he paid Abroad Study Plan last year and then having to live in Malta without a salary, supported by relatives.

“I don’t have any prospects now because I believed someone like Anil (Ghanta).  

“Even in India I have nothing to do, I have to start from scratch,” he said. 

Like Khan, the people who spoke to Times of Malta, and who wished to remain anonymous, said they learned about Malta through YouTube videos made by Ghanta.  

The Abroad Study Plan YouTube channel has over 16,000 subscribers. It includes videos titled “Malta work visa success stories,” “One more Malta work permit success story,” and “Abroad study plan success meet”.  

One video posted in January last year garnered 175,000 views, while other videos regularly have more than 10,000.

“I didn’t know anything about Malta before seeing Abroad Study Plan’s YouTube videos,” one man said.  

“Anilkumar Ghanta says there are many vacancies in the country, describes the high salaries you can earn, and shows what houses look like. But these were all lies,” he said. 

After watching the videos, one man said he paid the equivalent of €6,820 to work in Malta.  

“After coming here, he did not provide any work,” he said, backing up Khan’s story.

The man said he was given a work permit when he arrived but some days later his employer terminated his employment with Jobsplus.  

He has since managed to apply for another job. 

Several who were brought to Malta by Ghanta were asked to work at the Ta’ Xbiex Christmas Village with JK Security Services Limited. 

Times of Malta has reported how workers employed at the Christmas Village were never paid for their hundreds of hours’ worth of work.  

The Department of Industrial Relations is investigating the case. 

Another man who came to Malta through Abroad Study Plan said his family in India was sending him money when they can just so he can survive.  

“I moved to Malta so I could support them [family] but instead they are supporting me.”  

Questions were put to Ghanta through WhatsApp, e-mail and Instagram on Friday. He did not reply to any of the messages. Efforts to contact him by phone were unsuccessful.

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