The Marine Drive police have busted an illegal immigration racket with the arrest of three labourers from Kutch, who were to travel to Germany with fake passports, and their agent.
Manji Budiya, 37, Ramesh Varsani, 35, and Shailesh Gunsai, 37, were detained by immigration officials at Mumbai airport. They told the police the identity of their agent, 43-year-old Jagdish Singhani, alias Jaddu, and he was arrested the next day from Marine Drive.
The police said Singhani would help his clients get week-long tourist visas. After landing in Germany, they would be instructed to surrender to government officials after ripping up their passports.
Singhani, the police said, would instruct his clients to hide their nationality so that they weren’t deported to India and instead punished in Germany itself. After serving their sentences, usually a year or two in prison, they would get a job there with the agent’s help.
“The three would have taken up low-level jobs, such as construction work, and later sought asylum in Germany, claiming that they had lost their documents and forgotten their home countries,” added an officer.
The three applied for visa two months ago. The Germany consulate gave them visas but later realised the documents the three men had submitted were fakes. They intimated the authorities, and the three were detained at immigration when they tried to leave the country.
An officer at Marine Drive police station said, “The agent is based in Gujarat. He claims that the three men were daily-wage workers and came to him with the desire to earn more, so suggested that they travel abroad for work.”
“The men were about to catch a Swiss International Airlines flight to Berlin at 2pm on November 14 but were caught during the immigration check. They were taken to the German consulate in Nariman Point, after which the authorities informed the police station. The three were arrested and a case was registered,” added the officer.
The police also laid a trap to nab the agent and arrested him the next day from Marine Drive. They are trying to ascertain how many people he sent abroad.