Monday, October 02, 2017

Fake Passport Racket: ‘Arrested Sri Lankans wanted to go to UK to escape poverty, threats to Tamils’

Mumbai: The four Sri Lankan nationals arrested in March for allegedly attempting to enter the UK with forged documents have said that they wanted to escape poverty, threats to Tamils and the hardships they faced during the civil war in their country, according to a chargesheet filed against them by the police.
On March 10, immigration officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport caught Sri Lankan nationals Suthakaran Arunasalam (34), Karthatheepan Kannathsan (26), Gajan Chandrabalan (31) and Kaveenthini Kandasamy (23), as they prepared to board a British Airways flight to London. The police found forged boarding passes for the flight with a fake departure stamp and forged Indian passports bearing the names of British nationals in the possession of three of them. Kandasamy had reportedly flushed her Indian passport in a restroom before she was caught.
At the same time, the Bureau of Immigration caught British nationals Julie Ann Warner, Dominic Bower, Stuart Quilliam and Captain Fivehats, just as they were about to board an Air India flight to Ahmedabad. Investigations later revealed that three agents — two Sri Lankans and one Indian — made Indian passports in the name of the British nationals and arranged for them to be exchanged on the airport premises.
The arrested Sri Lankan nationals were also booked to fly to Ahmedabad but managed to bypass immigration checks after checking-in for the domestic flight. The police later arrested Sunil Soni, a salesman who allegedly helped the agents obtain an Indian SIM card using forged documents, as well as Sri Lankan agent Reyappan Thevakumaran.
02/10/17 Srinath Rao/Indian Express
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