Delhi: Two held for document swap at airport

The incident came to light on January 15, and both men had exchanged travel documents — including boarding passes and passport — in an airport toilet.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:January 18, 2017 2:43 am

The CISF has apprehended a Tibetan refugee based in the United States, for allegedly trying to help a native of Nepal travel to New York in exchange for Rs 40 lakh. Both men were later arrested by Delhi Police.

The incident came to light on January 15, and both men had exchanged travel documents — including boarding passes and passport — in an airport toilet.

Initial investigation revealed that Nepalese national, Rajendra Gurung, was not carrying a valid visa and was posing as the Tibetan man, Wangyal Pema, but he was exposed when United Airlines staff found something amiss and alerted security.

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“A passenger, who was to board United Airlines flight UA-83 to New York, was stopped with a boarding pass and passport under the name Wangyal Pema, a Tibetan refugee based in the US. Airline staff informed CISF personnel and they started questioning him. Eventually, it was revealed that the man was Rajendra Gurung, a Nepalese national. He was offloaded and handed over to the immigration department,” the official added.

Sources said Pema came to India a month ago and was introduced to Gurung through a tout at a hotel in Mahipalpur.

DCP (Airport) Sanjay Bhatia said they have arrested both men. “Initial investigation has revealed that Gurung planned to get refugee status in the US and had agreed to pay Rs 40 lakh to Pema for this. Since Pema had legitimate travel document, he cleared the immigration check before handing his passport to Gurung,” he added.

CISF officials said both the accused entered Terminal 3 around 7 pm and Gurung crossed the immigration channel from the domestic counter with the boarding pass for the Air India flight to Mumbai, which operates from the international side of T3.

“After completion of immigration and security clearance, both passengers went to the toilet and exchanged boarding passes,” said a CISF official.

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