The Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police has busted an illegal immigration racket and arrested eight people, including four Bangladeshi nationals. Forged Indian identity cards and passports have been seized from their possession, the ATS said.
Among the arrested is a Mumbra-based agent who allegedly made fake passports for 85 Bangladeshi nationals and facilitated their stay in the country.
On November 29, the Kalachowki unit of the ATS received information about one Bangladeshi national Akram Khan who was staying in Mumbai illegally and indulged in making and supplying fake Indian identity cards to other immigrants.
"A trap was laid by the ATS, Mumbai. They intercepted Khan at Sewree, Mumbai. A primary enquiry revealed his real name as Akram Noornabi Ollauddin Shaikh (28), a resident of Novokhali in Bangladesh. He had travelled to India without any valid documents. It is further revealed that one Noornabi, a resident of Mumbai's Wadala, and Rafiq Shaikh of Mumbra helped him in preparing forged Aadhaar card, PAN card and Indian passport in his name," a statement released by ATS Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajkumar Shinde stated on Monday.
A case under sections 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 468 (forgery by electronic means), 471 (using forged document as genuine), 420 (cheating and dishonesty), and 34 (criminal act) of IPC and sections 3, and 6 of passport Act (Entry into India), 1955, read with 3(1) Foreigners Order (pertaining to entry of foreigners in India), 1948, read with 14 Foreigners Act, 1946, (Punishment for living illegally in India), read with 41(1)(D) CrPC (suspicious possession found from accused) was registered at ATS police station, Kalachowki, Mumbai on November 29.
Further, the operation led to the arrest of Kausa-Mumbra resident Mohd Rafiq Rehmatulla Sayyad whose custodial interrogation revealed that as an agent, he was allegedly preparing counterfeit passports since 2013 and done so for many illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
"In the scrutiny of records, it has been found that he has been involved in providing at least 85 fake Indian identity cards and passports to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. He used forged documents such as PAN card, Aadhaar card, election card, ration card, electricity bill, rent agreements, School Leaving Certificate, birth certificate, and bank passbooks which are required for processing passports," the ATS said.
Further interrogation revealed the role of one Idris Mohammad Shaikh (57), a resident of Mumbra in Thane district, who had played an active role in preparing the forged School Leaving Certificates and birth certificates. One Avin Gangaram Kedare (35), a resident of Antop Hill, Mumbai, helped Idris in preparing fake rubber stamps to make these forged documents. One Nitin Rajaram Nikam (43), a resident of Taloja, Navi Mumbai, provided fake bank passbooks and election cards.
The persons involved in preparing forged documents have been arrested. Along with them, Khan, Md Soahil Abdul Subhan Shaikh, Abdul Khair Samsulhaq, and Abul Hasham aka Abul Kasham Shaikh have also been arrested for entering into India and residing without valid documents.