Immigration officers held for illegally sending 53 Indians to Canada

Jun 13, 2017, 11:17 IST | Suraj Ojha and Asif Rizvi

The same passport was used multiple times. Representational picture/ThinkstockThe same passport was used multiple times. Representational picture/Thinkstock

The Sahar police have busted an immigrants-transporting racket, which was operating with the help of two immigration officers at the Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport. The officers, who were arrested on Sunday, have confessed to helping illegally transport 53 Indians to Canada over two years, while working with three agents.

The police have so far arrested six accused in the case, which includes the officers Harshad Patil and Anil Surase and three agents Gaurav Singh, Mukadam Mohammad Ali Gulam Ali and Mushtak Ali Kapde. They are still looking for a few more suspects.

The racket was being operated at the Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport. File pic for RepresentationalThe racket was being operated at the Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport. File pic for Representational

Modus operandi
Sources close to the investigations revealed that the agents would first make fake passports for one person. Then, they would book tickets of the fake passport holders on a day when Patil or Surase were on duty. The duo would readily clear the passengers. As for the illegal immigrants, once they reached their destination, they would send their passport back through courier. The same passport was then reused for another person by replacing the photograph. Most of people were sent to Canada, an officer from Sahar police station confirmed.

The three agents were held after a female passenger named Komal Damgar was caught in May with fake identity proof and passport after she reached Canada via Air France airline. Upon being deported to India, she was arrested by the police, after which she revealed the nexus between the agents and officers, which had been running since 2015. During investigations, cops got to know about the role played by the agents, after which they arrested Singh and Ali on May 25, while Kapde was held on May 30.

CDR links to officers
Through the trio’s Call Data Record (CDR), police also found that they were in constant touch with Patil and Surase. The cops then shared this information with higher officers of the immigration department, after which they conducted a high-level probe and got to know that these people used to help criminals, too.

Dr Rashmi Karandikar, deputy commissioner of police told mid-day, "Six accused have currently been arrested. All of them have been booked under sections 370 (trafficking of persons), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code."

6 Accused held in the case so far

2 Years the racket had been running

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