The special investigation cell (SIC) of the Punjab Police has arrested Balkar Singh of Pragpur village in Nawanshahar district from the New Delhi airport in connection with infamous Moga fake passport scam that surfaced in 2008. Balkar had landed in India from Portugal, returning after nine years of staying abroad, on Thursday morning.
Police said Balkar Singh went to the Denmark in 2002 on a tourist visa, but he overstayed there. Meanwhile, his passport also expired. "Though he remaine din Denmark, he managed to get a new passport from the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Chandigarh in 2005 on fake residential documents, showing his address to be Mudki Road, Baghapurana (Moga)," said assistant investigating officer (AIO) Tejinder Singh.
"It was Manjit Singh of Gill village, owner of Golden Travel Agency in Baghapurana, who approached Hargobind Travel Agency in Chandigarh for preparing the passport for Balkar Singh with fake documents," the IO said, adding that the the passport thus procured was then sent to Balkar Singh via post, and Balkar moved from Denmark to Portugal in 2005 on that passport.
The police had already registered a case against Balkar Singh regarding fraud. "We are investigating as to how he prepared the passport, and will soon find out how many and who are involved in this cheating," the AIO added.
In the last four years, as many as 80 persons have been detained by the SIC, and several others remain under scanner. Sources revealed that the SIC had in fact registered criminal cases against more than 700 people who settled in the United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, the US and some other western countries, after going there on fake passports.
The names are kept confidential so that more arrests could be made when these suspects returned.
All these suspects had prepared their passports after conniving with the cops, two postmen, several travel agencies of Chandigarh, Dharamkot, Baghapurana, Ludhiana, Moga and some official of the Regional Passport Office (RPO) at Chandigarh. They used fake birth certificates, ration cards and other bogus documents. Most had addressed of Duneke village and various areas of Moga.