The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Eight held in forged passport racket bust

Eight persons were arrested and 56 fake passports were seized after the Dum Dum police busted a racket in forged passports on Saturday. The gang operated from an area near Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport and also smuggled goods to and from a number of South Asian countries.

“The gang would replace photographs from the passports which were either stolen or lost. Some agents of a courier firm are also involved in this,” said Basudeb Bag, superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas.

“The agents of the racket would then give the traveller, who had procured the passport from the agency, a packet containing some goods. On reaching the destination, the packets would be collected by the agents operating in other countries. Some electronic goods and garments have been despatched through travellers from Malayasia, Bangkok and Thailand,” said Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas. The gang was also involved in transaction of muslin clothes, the official added.

The racket drew the attention of the police after two passengers with forged passports missed their Bangkok flight on Friday. The inquiry immigration officials became suspicious and informed the police. “We recovered the passports which turned out to be fake,” said an immigration official at the airport. The police found out about the racket after interrogating the two passengers.

- Flight cancelled: Air Sahara’s Delhi-bound flight developed mechanical trouble after take-off and returned to Calcutta on Saturday afternoon. The flight was later cancelled. The passengers were accommodated in hotels and will be flown to Delhi on Sunday morning.

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