Fake passports: Police probe if nabbed British nationals helped more people travel to UK illegally

All four of them arrived in India on March 2. The police is probing the motive of their visit.

| Mumbai | Published: March 19, 2017 3:22:01 am

The Sahar police is probing whether four British nationals, held at the Mumbai international airport last week for allegedly trying to help four Sri Lankans travel to the UK illegally, had aided more people in a similar manner.

Of the four caught by immigration authorities on March 11, Juile Ann Warner is alleged to have visited India in January this year. The police is investigating the motive for her visit as well as those of her compatriots. All four of them arrived in India on March 2, the police said.

The British nationals — Warner, Dominic Bower, Captain Fivehats and Stuart Quilliam — allegedly consented to have forged Indian passports made bearing their names but with photographs of four Sri Lankan nationals attempting to illegally travel to the UK. According to the police, on March 10, the British nationals, who had booked tickets on a British Airways flight to London, handed over their boarding passes to the Sri Lankans and then boarded an Air India flight to Ahmedabad.

“Investigations so far have revealed that the immigration and security clearance stamps on the British Airways boarding passes were forged. Airline officials have told the police that they did not stamp those boarding passes. The police need to investigate who committed the forgery and where,” said public prosecutor Neeta Pasarkar at Andheri court on Saturday, where the eight accused were produced at the end of their police custody.

Advocate Harshal Damania, who represented the Sri Lankan nationals, argued that his clients had been cheated by two agents — an Indian national named Rajan and a Sri Lankan national named Mahamuni Logorajan, both now named as wanted accused in the case.

Advocate Prabhakar Tripathi, who represented the British nationals, argued that the agents had tampered with the boarding passes of his clients. “The security checks for domestic and international passengers are different, so how could the accused have met? The agents have played mischief with the boarding passes and the police has failed to arrest them. The British nationals are the victims,” he argued.

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