The arrest of two youths in the city last week for using fake driving licences has blown the lid off a huge forged document racket.
The City Police, which has been trying to the bust the racket for a while now, has managed to nab a few offenders. But, the kingpins are still on the loose.
Top officials in the City Police said uncovering the racket was difficult as forged documents were produced in isolated pockets. Such rackets could be busted only by carefully investigating each case of forgery that came to light.
The Motor Vehicles Department could easily identify drivers with fake licences during inspections, but many managed to obtain important facilities like mobile connections by producing forged documents as identity proof.
On Sunday, acting on a tip-off the Thrikkakara police arrested Rony Thomas, 24, of Kozhikode and Ratheesh Baby, 30, of Idukki, for using forged licences. The police are on the lookout for the kingpin of the racket.
“We are tracking a man from Idukki. We will be able to bust the racket once we take him into custody and seize the computer used to create forged documents,” said Bijo Alexander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakara.
Mr. Alexander said the seized licences were created by taking colour photocopies of original licences, tweaking the details and photograph, and laminating them.
Senior officials in the City Police said not many dared to produce such amateurishly-created fake licences as the police could easily spot them.
“All officers have been directed to get in touch with the Control Room when they find suspect licences. The original document can be traced by logging into the Regional Transport Office’s website,” said K.G. James, City Police Commissioner.
According to preliminary investigation, the youths had to pay Rs.5,000 for the forged documents. Those who ran the racket also delivered fake documents to people in Alappuzha and Idukki. The youths now face imprisonment up to seven years.