Sydney travel agent arrested and charged with making fraudulent bookings

Sydney travel agent arrested and charged with making fraudulent bookings

NSW police officers closed in on a unit in Kingsgrove last Friday to arrest travel agent Zahra Rachid who is accused of swindling customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rachid who ran Travel World Sydney – based in Arncliffe – appeared on Nine’s A Current Affair last month after devastated customers said they had booked trips with the agent only to be given fake itineraries.

Following the show, officers from St George Police Area Command in Sydney’s south established Strike Force Bail to investigate the reports. Yesterday the NSW police released footage of them arresting Rachid.

an image of Zahra Rachid

Zahra Rachid

The 53-year-old was reportedly arrested at a complex on Mashman Ave, Kingsgrove before she was taken to Kogarah Police Station and charged with 16 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

She was initially refused bail before appearing at Sutherland Local Court where she was given strict conditional bail. Rashid will appear in court on the 1 July.

In one instance, a customer alleged she had been swindled out of a staggering $160,00 by Rachid.

Nicole Vris said she used Travel World Sydney to book a holiday to Greece for 35 members of her family.

“To plan this holiday it takes a very long time, to take time off work, to save your money for the ticket and for your spending money,” Vris told Nine’s A Current Affair.

The family say they paid Travel World Sydney the $160,000 only to later find out that their booking confirmations weren’t real.

“We called Emirates directly, obviously they asked us for numbers that were on that itinerary, they just didn’t exist, we were not in the system.” a visibly distressed Vris told Nine.

She says most of the families will now no longer be able to attend the family reunion.

“A lot of families will never recover from this financially, it’s a disaster, they can’t recover.”

Meanwhile another customer – Fatima Awada – said she used the agency to book a trip to Germany. She said that she realised something was wrong when she hard the agency had been shut down. After ringing the airline she was distressed to discover her trip had been cancelled.

“Yeah, it is a big hit, and it is not just me. My sisters, my mum and her kids as well,” Awada is reported to have said.

“They paid nearly $10k. That’s just from us, that’s nearly $15k of our money.”

Sydney travel agent under police investigation after allegedly swindling customers out of thousands of dollars

Lead Image: NSW arresting Zahra Rachid as seen on A Current Affair 

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • News

UPDATE: Crash compensation unlikely, says head of digital disruption payment system

Southern Cross Travel Insurance says it will be covering claimable losses caused by the Crowdstrike global network outage event, despite its own operations not being affected. “We will be covering claimable losses caused by this event, provided all other conditions and criteria for cover are met (and subject to any limits, sub-limits and/or any exclusions […]

  • Food & Beverage

Exciting culinary experiences across Asia

Here is a look at some exciting experiences across Asia to enhance traveller vacations in iconic cities across the continent. The Mai Restaurant at Meliá Chiang Mai Located on the 21st floor of the iconic hotel, the Mai Restaurant has launched a Thai-inspired afternoon tea for two that pays tribute to the Baan Tawai Wood […]

  • Regional
  • Tour Operators

On Foot Holidays launches Ligurian Hills hiking tour promotion

Australians can explore Italy’s Ligurian Hills on foot on a self-guided, inn-to-inn hike with Onn Foot Holidays new promotional rates. Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports. On Foot Holidays’ seven-night holiday begins with two days of walking through vineyards and […]

  • Products

Mandarin Oriental takes a dive into swimwear with $360 board shorts

If you were inspired by The Inspired Unemployed’s Liam Moore limited-edition pair of Budgy Smugglers but want a bit more coverage, then here’s your chance. The Orlebar Brown brand has introduced an original design of the Bulldog swim short for Mandarin Oriental hotels – yours for a snip at US$242.25 (AU$360). They have been “designed […]

  • Health & Wellness
  • Luxury

Trisara showcases sustainable dining via wellspring program

Phuket-based resort Trisara is transporting guests from resort to farm to table then back again courtesy of a new limited-time program, Wellspring. The package is a collaboration with Tri Vananda, a US$182 million (AU $270 million) wellness community in northern Phuket, conceived by Montara Hospitality Group, the owners of Trisara. In addition to entitling guests […]

  • Aviation

Emirates SkyCargo expands fleet with five Boeing 777 freighters

Emirates SkyCargo announced an investment of US$1 billion (AU$1.484b) to expand its fleet with an order of five new Boeing 777 freighters. The investment follows a strong performance in the first quarter of the 2024/25 financial year. Emirates SkyCargo expects the new freighters to increase its capacity by 30 per cent. The increase enables the […]

  • Events
  • Tour Operators

ITE HCMC 2024 focuses on sustainable tourism for creating a future

The 18th annual International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) will take place from 5 to 7 September at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. Under the theme “Responsible Travel, Creating Future”, the expo will highlight its dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and showcasing innovative tourism products and services to meet rigorous […]