INDIA. Mumbai: The crime branch (Unit 05) of the Mumbai Police busted a fake passport and visa racket in Andheri West in northwestern Mumbai on Tuesday, arrested two people, and seized 28 fake passports and 24 fake visas.
The offence was registered on Wednesday against the accused, who were identified as Imtiyaz Shaikh (62) and Sudhir Sawant (38). They have been remanded to police custody until February 4, while the police are on the lookout for the third accused.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Prashant Kadam said that based on specific inputs, the crime branch raided a flat located at Shiv Shakti Society in Andheri West and seized various articles, including fake passports, visas, and stamps from the immigration department of over 13 countries.
The fake rubber stamps included those of the immigration departments of the UAE, Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, the Maldives, Canada, Istanbul, France, the Republic of Ghana, and other countries.
Kadam said the accused used to help travel agents prepare fake passports for those travelling abroad without proper documents. They charged them between one and five lakh rupees per passport.
The accused were arrested by the Delhi police after their role in making fake immigration documents for an individual, who was deported back to India after he was caught with a fake passport, surfaced. They came out on bail a few months ago and again started similar activities.
An offence (FIR No. 05/2023, Crime Branch) (FIR No. 84/2023, DN Nagar Police) has been registered under sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 473, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and section 12 of the Indian Passport Act 1967 against the accused.
The police seized a total of 414 fake rubber stamps, including those of airport health officers, deputy passport officers, and the fake rubber stamps of several banks, including the State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC, Punjab National Bank, and Bank of Baroda.
Besides the mobile phones, two computers, three colour printers, a scanner, and seven pen drives were also seized.
The police also seized fake Covid vaccination certificates from Mumbai’s J Hospital, since the accused used them to ensure that the travellers proceeded smoothly.
The operation was carried out under the supervision of Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, Special CP Deven Bharati, Joint CP Lakhmi Gautam, Additional CP Dnyaneshwar Chavan, DCP Prashant Kadam, and ACP Namdev Shinde by Inspectors Ghanshyam Nair, Sadanand Yerekar, Ajit Gondhali, and staff.
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