A case of fraud was registered against an official of the Passport Office and some other private individuals by the Visakhapatnam branch of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The fraud case was registered against Assistant Passport Officer D. Srinivas, a passport agent of Kurmannapalem, T. Venkata Praveen Kumar, BVV Bhanu Prakash, a private employee, who was deputed to the Passport Office for maintenance of passport printing machines, V. Krishna Chaitanya of Adavivaram and some others on the charge that they had committed irregularities and fraud in the allotment of manual slots to various passport applicants by accepting illegal gratification. The CBI officials conducted joint checks at the Passport Office on June 17 and 19 this year and detected serious irregularities and fraud in the allotment of manual slots to various applicants for processing their applications, according to a statement issued by CBI Deputy Inspector General G. Nageswara Rao on Wednesday.

Criminal conspiracy

Based on the checks and the evidence available, a case was registered against the other accused persons on the allegation that Srinivas had entered into a criminal conspiracy with the other accused during February-May 2013 and in pursuance of the same the APO, by abusing his official position and accepting illegal gratification, allotted manual slots in the names of various applicants for processing their passport applications as per the recommendations of T.V. Praveen Kumar and BVV Bhanu Prakash and others.

Further, Praveen Kumar and Krishna Chaitanya in conspiracy with each other forged the handwriting and signature of the APO and prepared fake recommendations for manual slots on the Application Reference Number (ARN) sheets of different passport applicants for different dates from February to June 12, 2013 and caused processing of the Passport Applications in the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) by obtaining undue pecuniary benefit from the applicants and thereby cheated the Passport Office.

The CBI searched the residence and office premises of the APO Srinivas and passport agent Praveen Kumar and Krishna Chaitanya of Visakhapatnam and seized incriminating documents.

The case is under investigation, Mr. Nageswara Rao said.

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