Cops Bust Lankan Gang Running Fake Passport Racket

Cops Bust Lankan Gang Running Fake Passport Racket


Tuesday, 24th June 2014

By Express News Service


          Police displaying the items that were seized after a fake passport racket was
          busted by the CCB, in the city on Monday

CHENNAI: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) claimed to have busted a fake passport racket run by a gang of Sri Lankans. As many as six persons, including five Lankan Tamils, were arrested here on Monday.

According to police, 110 fake passports and 73 bogus visa documents of countries including Malaysia, UK, Canada and Australia, were seized from the gang. Besides, 100 fake rubber stamps and electronic equipment used to make forged documents were confiscated.

Based on a tip-off from Commissioner of Police S George, a team, led by ACP P Govindaraju, set a trap and caught the gang by posing as prospective customers.

“The gang pleaded innocence, claiming it had been keeping away from business after an accomplice was arrested by the CBI,” said DC-CCB S Jeyakumar.

Rajan (42), a Lankan national, was picked up while delivering a fake passport ordered by an undercover sleuth, according to an official privy to the probe.

During interrogation, Rajan spilled the beans on his accomplice Abubakkar Sidique, the only Indian in the gang. Sidique, in turn, gave away the name of the kingpin of the racket -- Krishnamurthy. The kingpin had been arrested twice previously -- in 2003 and 2005 -- by the CCB and the CBI.

Despite being a high school drop out, Krishnamurthy had sound technical knowledge and had recruited a computer engineer, Julie alias Janakiraman (29), to help him with the software and other computer-related processing for counterfeit work. Their major chunk of business came from Sri Lankan refugees who wished to flee the country.

Sources said the gang used to procure expired and unused passports from embassies for anything between `2,000 and `3,000.

The gang would then proceed to fill in bogus details and pictures, as per the need of their clients. Later, they would forge the itinerary details with a fake rubber stamps to give the impression that their client was a frequent traveller. The gang charged `30,000 for a fake passport and `2 to 4 lakh for a fake visa.

Apart from delivering fake passports, Siddique, Patrick Sridhar (48), and Sivarangan (55), used to train their clients to tackle immigration checks. A counterfeit passport package, which includes safe departure, gets the client ferried to the airport and helps them clear the immigration check.

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