The Special Operation Group (SOG) on Tuesday claimed to have busted an immigration racket which sent three families from Mehsana and Gandhinagar districts to Canada on passports and visas originally belonging to a family of three in Mumbai in three months. The three couple paid more than Rs 1.50 crore to travel agents for this purpose.
Police said that on the passports and visas of Shagufta Memon, her husband Mohammed Aladin Tanvar and son Abdus Arif, all residents of Mumbai, nine people were sent to Canada between August 2016 and October 2016 from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad. This was facilitated by the immigration racket, police said. SOG officials said that a Mumbai-based travel agent, identified as Afzal alias Raju, had contacted another agent in Ahmedabad, Bipinchandra Patel, and informed him to find people who wanted to go to Canada. The condition was that the three persons should consist of a couple and their son. Police said that Patel found three couples who were sent to Canada on Air India flight on different dates in three months which remained undetected by immigration officials.
Out of the three, two were real couples along with their sons. The third family comprised a mother-son duo who were joined by an individual posing as their “husband” and “father”.
“After the third round, the immigration officials in Delhi suspected some mischief and issued lookout notice across international airports. In the meanwhile, one of the original passport holders, who was to fly to Canada, was held by immigration officials at Delhi airport,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, SOG, B C Solanki. Bipinchandra Patel has been held and the investigation is on, he said.
However, the passport was found to be blank and the matter was reported to immigration officials at Ahmedabad airport which informed the local police. He also told the police that his passport was kept by the Mumbai-based agent for three months. The SOG was entrusted to investigate the case. The SOG officials collected phone the numbers from immigration registers of the three couples who flew to Canada and the phone call detail report was acquired. The police traced all the people who flew to Canada. Further investigation revealed that the Mumbai-based agent, along with Bipinchandra Patel, made duplicate passports based on the original passports of the Mumbai-based family, changed their names and photographs.