British citizen Avtar Singh is 82nd suspect in the 2008 Moga passport scam to fall into the hands of the Punjab Police special investigation cell (SIC).
Avtar Singh, from Medha Shahkot village in Jalandhar district originally, was arrested on Thursday when he landed at Guru Ram Das International Airport in Amritsar from Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He lived in Britain for four years.
The suspect prepared his original passport from Jalandhar. “He went to some countries on that passport but failed to settle in the UK permanently, while his close relatives are settled there for long,” Gurmeet Singh Kingra, deputy superintendent of police, told the media on Thursday. He is chief investigation officer.
“From the Jalandhar office, the man secured another passport as Amar Avtar Singh but even this didn’t help him settle in Europe,” said DSP Kingra. In the past four years, the SIC has picked up 82 suspects from the airports in New Delhi and Amritsar.
“Avtar Singh got his third passport made with the help of Bhupinder Singh Brar, travel agent in Dharamkot (Moga), who further hired Sandal Travel Agency in Chandigarh to prepare the sham documents,” said the DSP. “In 2008, Avtar Singh received his new passport from the RPO in Chandigarh at a fake address in Moga.
Some police officials are charged with helping Avtar. Immigration officers at the airport tipped off the Moga police when the man landed there. Assistant investigation officer Tejinder Singh led a team to Amritsar that caught the man.