Mumbai: Immigration officials at the Mumbai airport on Saturday caught five persons – originally from Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand – for travelling to Yemen despite the Government of India banning citizens from visiting the country. India banned travel to Yemen in 2017, after father Tom Uzhunnalil of Kerala was kidnapped by terrorists from Aden.
Accused had travelled by road to Yemen
According to the police, the accused had first gone to Saudi Arabia where they stayed for two years and carried out illegal businesses. To avoid catching the attention of Saudi Arabian officials, they travelled by road to Yemen and boarded a flight from there to India, despite the ban.
As they arrived at the Mumbai airport, immigration officials checking their travel documents noticed the Yemen visa sticker on their passports and immediately informed the police who took them into custody. The accused have been identified as Mohammad Adil, 42, Danish Ilayas, 30, Asif Ahamad, 32 and Kadir Ghor Nawaz, 39 (all from Uttar Pradesh), and Rahmani Jharkhand, 28, from Jharkhand.
According to data, the Indian government seized a total of 372 passports of those who travelled to Yemen over the past few years. Of these, the maximum number of passports seized was from Kerala (241), while the least (one each) was seized from Chattisgarh, Odisha and Goa.
However, according to the government, the seizure and release of passports is a continuous process and the data keeps changing. Additionally, a provision to permit Indian nationals to visit Yemen for specific and essential reasons has also been made for which prior permission can be sought from the Ministry of External Affairs.
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