A group of 36 Indians have been deported from Dubai, exposing the laxity of immigration authorities here who failed to detect their fake travel documents, officials said Tuesday.
They were deported from Dubai late on Monday night. The incident comes barely days after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Babubhai Katara was caught trying to smuggle out a woman and teenager to Toronto on the diplomatic passports of his family.
The Indians, all labourers from Chandigarh and Haryana, had arrived in Dubai on Sunday. The Dubai immigration officials detected that the stamps on their visas were fake and deported them.
Police suspect that a travel agent in Chandigarh facilitated their travel.
However, senior officials of national carrier Indian, in which the group had gone to Dubai, denied that the airlines was at fault and said they were investigating the matter.
"It was not only the airlines fault. The people also managed to escape the immigration officials," a senior airline official said on condition of anonymity.
"The Dubai immigration officials told us that the stamps on their visas were fake and they had failed to produce relevant documents. We were asked to fly them back," he said.
It is the first time that so many people were detected travelling on fake visas on one flight. The Dubai authorities have slapped a huge fine on the Indian airlines.