A person of Nigerian-descent, arrested with forged passports and expired visas at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, on Friday, has led the Delhi Police to a thriving gang of master forgers operating in the Capital.
The gang allegedly caters to all the "criminal needs" of a foreign national residing in the city and to prolong their stay without any legal complications.
"Several teams have fanned across the city to hunt down a man called John, who is also of Nigerian-descent. John's claim to fame is a friend who happens to be a police officer posted at the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Hyderabad," said a senior police officer.
The matter came to light when a Nigerian national Okoyo Onyekwulu Sylvester was apprehended at the departure wing of the immigration counter at IGI late on November 3.
Headed to Lagos via Adis Ababa, Sylvester did have a valid Nigerian passport but an Indian business visa which had expired in November 2009.
"As per visa restrictions, Sylvester had overstayed by two years and would have been liable to pay at least R2 lakh had he decided to go through the proper channel by approaching the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)," the officer explained.
Instead, Sylvester had paid $500 to one Amos Peter, who helped him procure not only fake residential permits through his contact in Hyderabad, but also a fake visa extension permit for the same contact.
"When we contacted the FRRO in Hyderabad, we were told that no such extension or residential permit had been issued to Sylvester. He was interrogated and led us to Amos Peter," the officer said.
Peter, residing in west Delhi's Uttam Nagar, told police about John who stays in Rohini and is capable of procuring everything from a fake passport to a rented accommodation on the basis of forged documents, for his compatriots, police said.
"Seven fake passports and eight residential permits have been recovered. We are looking for John to bust this nexus operating from Hyderabad."