UP ATS busts fake passport racket, nabs senior officer in Lucknow | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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UP ATS busts fake passport racket, nabs senior officer in Lucknow

Assistant passport officer Sudhakar Rastogi of Lucknow Regional Passport Office was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly helping touts prepare fake passports.

lucknow Updated: Apr 13, 2017 13:26 IST
HT Correspondent
A stamp of emigration check not required (ECNR) on a passport helps a person bag a job offer in some select countries.
A stamp of emigration check not required (ECNR) on a passport helps a person bag a job offer in some select countries.(For representational purpose)

Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested assistant passport officer Sudhakar Rastogi of Lucknow Regional Passport Office for allegedly helping touts prepare fake passports and also changing category of passport holders travelling to Gulf countries for jobs. He was booked for fraud and forgery under section 12 of the Passport Act.

A senior ATS official said Rastogi was arrested in connection with an FIR that was lodged regarding issuance of fake passports and changing ordinary passports into a special category by putting stamps of ‘emigration check not required (ECNR)’ on the basis of fake documents. Rastogi’s name surfaced after the arrest of six touts during raids at five separate places in Lucknow on March 27. The touts revealed Rastogi’s name and he was on the ATS radar since then. The assistant passport officer was arrested after ATS collected substantial evidence against him. Rastogi had recently contested for the post of treasurer of Lucknow Golf Club but lost the election.

A stamp of emigration check not required (ECNR) on a passport helps a person bag a job offer in some select countries including Bahrain, Brunei, Kuwait, Jordan, Libya, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE among others. In the absence of an ECNR stamp, a person cannot get a job in these countries. High school certificate is a prerequisite for an ECNR stamp on a passport.

Touts were involved in the racket of procuring fake high school certificates for people seeking job in West Asian nations.

According to sources, the ATS is now on the lookout for such people who have availed services of these touts for procuring fake high school certificates. Those arrested on March 27 were Mohammad Mahruf, Mohammad Faisal, Mohammad Javed Naqvi, Arman Khan, Kulvinder Singh and Shoaib Ansari, all natives of Lucknow. At least 73 passports, a laptop, computer, printer and other documents, which were being used to prepare fake passports, were also recovered from their possession.