Bangladeshi man in fake ID card racket

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  • Published 27.10.14

A Bangladeshi man, staying illegally at Rajarhat for the past seven years, has been arrested for allegedly issuing over 15,000 fake Aadhaar and other photo identity cards and documents.

Bidhannagar police said three associates of the foreigner, Ashadul Jaman, who uses the alias Amit Biswas for renting flats at Rajarhat, revealed his illegal activities following a recent crackdown on fake identity documents.

Police sources said Jaman was arrested on October 7, a day before the NIA took over the Khagragarh blast probe. “He was arrested for fraudulently withdrawing Rs 97,400 from the Rajarhat branch of a nationalised bank in July,” an officer said.

“We rounded up his associates — Dipankar Rudra, Sahed Das and Tapas Karmakar — over the past week in Dum Dum and Barasat. They told us how they and Jaman make and circulate fake photo identity proofs,” said an officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate.

Sources at Rajarhat police station said Jaman has been charged with cheating but all angles — read extremist links, if any — would be taken into account during the investigation. “The focus became broad-based following an intelligence alert. Investigations revealed that Jaman is from Satkhira district in Bangladesh. Two SIM cards issued by Bangladesh-based telecom operators were found on him,” said an officer.

The police said Jaman used to frequently visit Bangladesh.

They said the racket, with Jaman as the kingpin, used to print the fake identity documents at Saheb’s house in Barasat.

“We recovered printers from the house and nearly 50 rubber stamps bearing designations of senior bureaucrats, including the principal secretary of the state transport department,” said the officer. “We found forged Aadhaar cards, EPIC (elector’s photo identity card) cards, driving licences, PAN cards and vehicle registration certificates.”

The police said the gang used to store the counterfeit cards at Rudra’s house in Dum Dum after making them in the Barasat address. “Jaman would collect the cards from there and give them to his clients,” said another officer.

“We have learnt that Jaman used to hand over 200 forged identity proofs every month.”

The police crackdown was part of a follow-up action in the aftermath of the Burdwan blast, investigation into which revealed the use of SIM cards obtained against forged documents by the fugitive prime suspect and the two victims.

According to sources in the police intelligence branch, district officers across the state were asked to go after rackets of fake photo identity proofs after the Burdwan blast.

Burdwan police arrested two men at Mangalkot within a week of the blast for issuing SIM cards against forged documents.

“The decision of initiating a crackdown was taken after the Khagragarh blast probe was handed over to the NIA on October 8. Had these persons been rounded up by a central agency, it would have been a loss of face,” said a senior intelligence branch officer.

The state police were trying to avoid further embarrassment since NIA inspector-general S.K. Singh had minced no words on October 12 to express his displeasure to Burdwan police superintendent S.M.H. Meerza over the local police’s failure to gather information about Shimulia madarsa, which was used as an extremist-training camp.