Lankans held with fake visas
Alleged connivance between the Immigration authorities at the Rajiv
Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad and some agents resulted in
five Sri Lankan nationals, travelling on fake passports and visas, being
cleared at the Immigration counter on Tuesday.
Surprisingly, they were also issued with boarding passes. Four Sri
Lankans and one native of Tamil Nadu were later caught by the staff of
Emirates Airlines and off-loaded from the flight.
Two other members of the same group were subsequently caught at the
immigration counter. According to sources, all the seven members, which
includes six Sri Lankan nationals and one native of Tamil Nadu,
including a woman and their 'carrier' went to the airport around
With fake passports and bogus visas, they intended to board the
Emirates flight to France which departs at 4.30 a.m.
While five of them - Sylvester Samuel Raj (carrier), Panner Selvan
Kumar, Raja Dorai Siva, Dasiel Solomon and Srinivasan Prakash - managed
to get clearance at the Immigration counter and were proceeding for the
security check, some staff of the Emirates airlines noticed some
suspicious behaviour. Among them Sylvester Samuel Raj hails from Tamil
Nadu and he was the carrier of the group.
They immediately alerted the security personnel who found that the
documents with them were fake. As the world spread about them, two
members of the same group including a woman were caught at the
immigration counter. Officials said they are Venkateshan Rameshand
Ramesh Jaya Chitra.
"Without connivance of the immigration staff, the five Sri Lankan
nationals getting clearance at the immigration counter is impossible.
We have ordered an internal enquiry," a police official said.
A team of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) is grilling all the seven
persons after which they were handed over to the Shamshabad police for
further action. The sleuths are also questioning one Balaji, who is
involved in the ground handling operations at RGIA issued boarding
passes to them.
Sources said that this year alone, several Sri Lankan nationals were
caught at the airport, who were mostly travelling to France or Paris.
"During their interrogation, many of them told us that they were
finding it difficult to travel from the Chennai Airport because of the
strict checks all through," sources said.
Meanwhile, the Shamshabad police picked up two agents Wajid and
Sameer, who are involved in sending many Sri Lankan nationals to
European countries en route Hyderabad. Cyberabad DCP (Immigration) B.V.
Ramana Kumar said all Indian passports were obtained from Tiruchunapalli.
"Illegal travel by Sri Lankan nationals can be checked if Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) takes up the cases. The Cyberabad police
is overburdened and our investigation might not be as effective," said
an official. Express News Service