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Bag with 74 passports of Pune,Bangalore residents goes missing

Stolen from angadiya carrying passports to Mumbai for visa processing,police stumped

Written by Arul Horizon | Pune |
July 16, 2013 2:29:15 am

The disappearance of a bag from a private courier — also called angadiya — during a Pune to Mumbai train journey has become a reason of great worry for 74 people,most of them corporate professionals from Pune and Bangalore,as the bag contained their passports,which were being taken to various embassies in Mumbai.

A missing report in this regard has been registered at Kalyan division police station of the Government Railway Police (GRP) in Mumbai. “On the morning of July 4,a person named Sampat came to us with a handwritten application and said a bag had gone missing. He was an angadiya. We accepted his application. But he later told us that there were 74 passports in that bag. He told us that he had boarded Chennai Express from Pune the previous night and when he reached Kalyan station in the early hours of July 4,the bag was not there. He had fallen asleep for sometime,he said,” said a staffer with Kalyan GRP who did not wish to be named.

Kalyan GRP teams checked various CCTV camera footage of the railway station but did not get any clue on the bag that went missing. The staffer further said,“From the fact that CCTV footage did not give any clue,we concluded that it must have got lost somewhere in the journey. But as the bag had got lost during the journey we registered a missing complaint.”

Further inquiry into the case by railway police revealed that at least 10 travel companies,who have offices in Pune,had sent these passports,most of which belonged to corporate and IT professionals from Pune and Bangalore,for various embassies in Mumbai mainly for visa processing. Another GRP staffer said,“We checked with the travel companies. They told us that they collect these passports from their clients and send them to embassies for processing. As these clients need the process completed quickly,the companies approach angadiyas for taking these passports. They have proved to be very fast and safe.”

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Prabhat Kumar,Commissioner with Mumbai GRP said,“We have registered a missing report. We are probing the case from all angles.” As of now police have no clue about the bag and said they were working on some leads.

A manager with one of these 10 travel companies said,“We have been sending all the important documents through angadias for many years and there has never been a single lapse as their business runs on trust between parties. This incident is an exception. All of us are in constant communication with the police and are co-operating in the investigation.”

In spite of several attempts representatives of the companies refused to provide details about the people who have lost their passports. “This is a very crucial case and there is fear that these passports could be misused,” said a staffer with a travel company.

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