Racket in human trafficking unearthed

Staff Reporter

Seven persons have been arrested; police on the lookout for kingpin

The accused were allegedly creating fake documents for the past 10 years

Bidari suggests to Government that the case be referred to Central Bureau Investigation

BANGALORE: The city police on Saturday unearthed an international racket in human trafficking with the arrest of seven persons. They are on the lookout for the kingpin of the racket.

The police are also probing the possibility of the involvement of personnel from Regional Passport Offices and the use of fake passports for terrorist activities.

The arrested are Syed Iqbal (28), Syed Akram (44), Siddiq Hussain (37), Illiyas (43), Wasim Pasha (24), Syed Ghouse Pasha (37) and Iqbal Ahmed (44). The accused were allegedly creating fake documents for the past 10 years and had “trafficked” about 200 persons to various countries during the period.

As the case had international ramifications, cityPolice Commissioner Shankar M. Bidari said he had suggested to the State Government that the case be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Bidari said the gang, headed by Syed Iqbal and Syed Akram, was creating fake passports by replacing photographs of original passport holders. They were using fake international driving licences and credit cards as proof of address.

“The gang used to obtain visa by providing names and addresses given in fake passports, and sending letters in the name of fake multinational companies to organisations and embassies abroad. Soon after landing in foreign countries, the persons holding such documents disappearing and later got jobs in construction companies,” Mr. Bidari said. The gang was arrested on a tip-off by an “anti-social element” who knew about the racket. He demanded Rs. 10 lakh from the gang to keep silent about their activities. Investigation revealed that many “anti-social elements” in the city had used the gang to obtain fake passports, Mr. Bidari said. The police recovered letter heads of non-existent international companies, copies of correspondence with “reputed” international companies and institutions, fake seals and share certificates of international companies.

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