Police are investigating a passport-visa racket in Nagpur that has helped several youth enter the United Kingdom and disappear over the last two-three years. More than 50 youth with passports from Nagpur have been untraceable after entering the UK, the British High Commission has informed police.
Citing work or business in their visa applications, the youth, sources said, left India with passports issued in Nagpur but never returned. Once the visa duration ran out, British authorities began looking for these youth but could not trace them. Last September, the British High Commission reported the matter to the Nagpur City Police. The Commissioner of Police, sources said, entrusted the inquiry to Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Somnath Waghchaure. He looked into the cases and turned over an inquiry report to the Commissioner before leaving for Ahmednagar on transfer. The inquiry report, sources said, pointed to the lack of verification before issue of passports. The findings included some glaring examples: eight couples in Nagpur got most passports made for the youth, passing them as their children; in one case, only three months separated the dates of birth of siblings; in another, as many as 19 youth had the same names of parents.
Sources said these findings pointed to an organised racket. Waghchaure was said to have recommended filing of cases against the suspect couples and a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.
When his comments were sought, Shivaji Bodkhe, Joint Commissioner of Police, said, “They (the youth) had gone to the United Kingdom on the pretext of work or business, but have not returned. The Crime Branch, as well as the Special Branch, are investigating the matter.”
A spokesperson for the British High Commission said, “One cannot yet give a statement in this matter as it is still under investigation.”