Passports belonged to Indians and had been modified with the men's photos

Six men from Bangladesh were arrested on charges of attempting to sneak out of Chennai to the Gulf in forged passports belonging to Indian nationals on Tuesday morning.

Immigration officials, while screening their travel documents, checked their passports and did not take long to establish that they were forged. They were scheduled to take an early morning flight to Muscat, capital of Oman.

They were then handed over to personnel at Chennai Airport Police Station, where a case under Section 12 (1-A) (b) of Passport Act was registered, along with Sections 420, 468 and 471 of Indian Penal Code. They were produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Alandur, and remanded in judicial custody, policemen told reporters.

Policemen gave their names as S.Abdul Mazwan (34), Azizul Rahman Alinoor (24) and Jakir Hussain (29), all from Madaripur District, Jiban Sheikh (24) of Gopalganga District, Miraj Sheikh (27) of Faridpur District and Mohammed Awan Asghar (36) of Bahirdhia.

According to the policemen, who had a tough time communicating with the Bangladeshi nationals, the men had been lured into an ‘irrestible’ offer of a lucrative job in Muscat. They had paid huge sums of money to one Munir Mondol, also a Bangladeshi national, who helped in arranging the passports of Indian nationals.

It is still not clear how the agent had managed to secure original passports of Indian nationals. Once in the agents’ hands, the passports were forged with the photos of the six men in the place of the original passport holder. They reached Kolkatta some days ago from where they took a train to Chennai.

According to the policemen the Bangladeshis were just not aware that they were tricked by Munir Mondol and that the passports were actually original ones, belonging to Indian nationals – all natives of West Bengal and issued at Kolkatta and that they were subsequently tampered with to help them sneak out of the country. The case would be transferred to Central Crime Branch of the city police for further investigations.

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