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Sleuths get global whiff in fake passport case

Pakhtoon and other Arabic languages are inscribed on the 81 audio tapes recovered from three agents of a fake passport racket on Sunday. Officials working on this case smell an international hand in the racket.

“The agents were not smuggling the tapes in cassettes. To deceive the Customs and Immigration officials, they wrapped the tapes in white paper, with some markings on them,” said Zulfiquar Hasan, deputy commissioner of police (central).

During a day-long operation on Sunday, officials of Jorasanko police station arrested nine persons — three agents and six Bangladeshi nationals, who were on their way to Gulf countries. Apart from the tapes, 11 fake passports issued in Bangladesh and a number of letters written in Urdu were recovered from the arrested persons. All the accused were remanded in police custody till June 13.

“We have not studied the tapes yet. We will get technicians to put the tapes into cassettes and interpreters will be engaged to help us understand the contents,” said Timir Bhattacharya, officer-in-charge of Jorasanko police station. “We are not ruling out the possibility of the arrested persons having terrorist links.”

Officials from Subsidiary Intelligence Branch (SIB) interrogated the three agents on Monday. “Other agencies, including the Special Branch and the anti-terrorism cell will interrogate them later,” said Hasan.

Delhi Police have evinced interest in interrogating the agents and a team is expected here soon. Last February, Dalilur Rehman, the Mumbai-based agent of the racket, had managed to give Delhi police the slip.

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