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Mohali: Immigration racket helping gangsters flee to Europe busted

2 immigration agents arrested from Delhi

Mohali: Immigration racket helping gangsters flee to Europe busted

Members of immigration racket in custody of the police.



Tribune News Service

Gaurav Kanthwal

Mohali, May 20

Mohali State Special Operating Cell has arrested Mohammad Shazeb Abid, alias Shazeb; and Mohammad Kaif, both residents of Ranjit Nagar, Delhi, who were operating as immigration agents, to facilitate the escape of gangsters facing legal proceedings to European nations, including Poland and Portugal.

Modus operandi

  • They would make fake Aadhaar cards, driving licences
  • Arrange an old “original passport”, which does not contain a chip
  • Pic of the individual is changed, while other details remain same
  • Clients are taken to Siliguri in West Bengal and helped to infiltrate into Bangladesh
  • From there, they are sent to Hong Kong and finally to European countries

The suspects used to help criminals by making fake passports and identities on the basis of forged documents. The racket was unearthed after the arrest of Jalandhar residents Jagjeet Singh, alias Jeeta, and Sonu, who were involved in an immigration racket.

Around 20 persons with criminal history have fled the country on passports and documents prepared by these agents. Gangster Gopi Nawashehria, a close associate of Pak-based terrorist Harvinder, alias Rinda, escaped to Poland on a fake identity in 2022. Sukhjit Singh, alias Sukha Kalaudi of Sangrur, fled to the US; and Gurpreet Singh, alias Lehmber Sidhwan, from Ludhiana had gone to Canada.

The police said both agents arrested from Delhi were involved in making fake identity documents and passports for individuals and criminals who had been booked in various cases and were trying to flee India.

The duo prepared counterfeit visas to help their clients bypass regular immigration controls and ultimately get entry into European countries. The accused were using a clandestine route through Bangladesh to smuggle individuals into European nations, including Poland and Portugal, to evade stringent immigration checks.

Their modus operandi includes making fake Aadhaar cards, driving licences and other documents as the first step. After that they would arrange an old “original passport”, which does not contain electronic chip. The pic of the individual on the passport is changed, while the other information like full name, nationality, sex and personal details remain the same as of the original passport holder. The accused take their clients to Siliguri in West Bengal and help them infiltrate into Bangladesh through a forest route. The agents arranged for their stay in Bangladesh for a few months, from where they are sent to Hong Kong and finally to European countries.

A case under Sections 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and the Passport Act, 1967, was registered in Mohali on May 8.

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