A man from Kashmir was arrested by immigration authorities at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport last week for allegedly travelling with a fake passport in an attempt to return home to visit his ailing father.
The man, whose employer had seized his Indian passport, was allegedly duped by two travel agents who supplied him with a passport registered under another name.
According to the police, the man, Riyaz Ahmad Wani (29) flew to Mumbai from Muscat, Oman, late night on March 17 and was caught by an immigration official, who found his passport was registered under the name of Edayillyam Udayan and issued at Kozhikode in Kerala in January 2017.
Further investigation revealed that in October 2016, Wani moved to the UAE and found work with a local, who took away his Indian passport.
“The accused said that when he started working there, the employer took away his passport and refused to return it,” said Baburao Mukhedkar, senior inspector, Sahar police station. Wani also told the police that his employer also did not pay him his wages.
According to the police, Wani needed to return to Kashmir after being informed by his family that his father was battling cancer.
When he made the request to his employer, he refused to return the passport.
The police said Wani then met a travel agent in the UAE who put him on a flight to Muscat and directed him to another agent there.
According to the police, Wani paid 2,02,000 dirhams to the second agent and was given a forged Indian passport bearing his picture but the name of Edayillyam Udayan. The Sahar police station booked Wani on March 18 for cheating and forgery.
Advocate Prabhakar Tripathi argued that Wani had been cheated by the travel agents and was aware that his passport he was travelling with was not genuine.
“The agent advised him not to raise an alarm in Oman as he would face strict legal action there. Once he reached Mumbai, Wani approached immigration authorities about the issue,” he argued.
Wani was granted bail by the Andheri court Wednesday after paying a cash bond of Rs 20,000, said Tripathi.