TN Police's 'Q' Branch to investigate fake passport racket

 - Sakshi Post

Chennai, May 31 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Police's elite 'Q' Branch will investigate the fake passport racket cases in the state which came to light after three persons were arrested in Chennai, officials said on Wednesday.

Mohammed Sheikh Illyas, 54, was arrested on May 20 and on interrogation, revealed the details of his accomplices, N. Shivakumar, 41, of Tiruvattiyur and M. Mohammed Bukhari, 42, of Royapetah in Chennai.

The three were arrested following a tip-off from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). Police said that Illyas was the kingpin of the gang and has been running the racket for the past 15 years.

The DRI stumbled upon the passport racket after Illyas was arrested in Chennai airport for smuggling gold and on examining his passport, it was found to be fake.

According to the police , Illyas used to collect expired passports at the rate of Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000, tore out the used pages, and replaced them with new pages.

The 'Q' Branch will probe whether these people had supplied such fake passports to wanted terror groups and whether anti-nationals have traveled abroad using such fake passports.

The also gang used to change the unique encrypted serial numbers using chemicals procured from online stores and then replace them with different numbers.

The 'Q' Branch, according to sources in the state police headquarters, would be probing the number of passports the gang had made in recent years. Interrogation of the three some have already given police several inputs regarding the agents and sub-agents employed by these people across Tamil Nadu.

The police are also probing the number of expired passports these groups have collected and all those who have sold the passports. The 'Q' Branch is probing the terror angle as well as the money raised by the group through dubious means to procure these expired passports.

Sources in the police told IANS that the arrest of the three was only the tip of the iceberg and a detailed and micro-level probe is being conducted to bring all the culprits to book.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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