Five held for visa, passport fraud

With the arrest of five persons, including two Bangladesh nationals, Delhi police have busted an international syndicate helping provide Indian passports and visas for Rohingya Muslims and Bangladesh nationals for Middle East countries.

Those arrested have been identified as Shaukat Ali, 39, Suleman, 23, Saddam Hussain, 23, Amit Bodh Jha and Mohammad Ibne Sultan, 64. They were allegedly involved in trafficking Bangladeshi nationals to Saudi Arabia after procuring Indian passports and visas for the last two years. At least 500 Rohingya Muslims, a minority in Myanmar, are suspected to have been sent to Saudi Arabia by this syndicate.

“Shaukat Ali was the kingpin of the module. He used to get the details of these Bangladeshi nationals from operators in Bangladesh. They would make fake Indian passports on which visa of Saudi Arabia was stamped. Then the documents were sent to Hafiz Sheikh, a Kolkata-based contact,” said Sundari Nanda, Delhi Police Special Commissioner (Operations).

Ali was running a mosquito net factory in Sarai Kale Khan in east Delhi since 2008 as a front, said police.

Ali’s nephew Suleman used to collect the forged passports, and money through hawala channels. Hussain then collected these passports from Ali and handed them over to Sultan to get the Saudi Arabian visa stamped. These passports were then handed over to Jha for sending it to the operators in Bangladesh. The group charged Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for arranging the forged Indian passports, police said.

“The main objective of this syndicate was to earn huge money through this illicit trade. They have modules in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangladesh. Every month they used to send 20 persons on forged Indian passports. We have recovered 25 passports of which two are forged,” Nanda added.

Police also said Ali had links with Noor-ul-Haq, who was arrested by the Hyderabad Police in September for his alleged links with the terrorist outfit HuJI. Sheikh was arrested by Kolkata Police in January.

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