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Missing Indian cricketer part of immigration racket

india Updated: Sep 09, 2006 14:05 IST
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Police in Britain have said that a young Indian cricketer who went missing a month ago, had come to the country via an illegal immigration racket.

Dalbir Singh, 18, was part of a cricketing tournament trip organised by the Saltburn Cricket Club, Middlesborough, England. The tournament was organised by Nav Singh, who hails from Punjab, according to reports.

Dalbir Singh did not return after he went to buy phone cards in Middlesborough on July 11.

He is reported to speak very little English. The police have examined CCTV film footage to try and trace him.

Investigations have revealed that Dalbir had never played the game and was part of the racket that used sports as a front for getting young Indians into Britain.

Police have said a file would be prepared on him for the Immigration Service.

"Once he is found, he will be recommended for deportation," a police spokesman said.

Meanwhile in Punjab, Dalbir's mother Gurmit Kaur claimed she paid 4,285 pounds to one Baljit Singh, a physical trainer in a local college, to get her son included in the cricket team.

The present case is the latest after earlier incidents of singers and performers smuggling in youths as part of their troupes for performances in western countries and leaving them there.

In August 2003, five members of a visiting Indian women's cricket team had disappeared in a similar fashion after their three-week visa expired.

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