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CBI makes more arrests in fake Indian passport racket in Bengal and Sikkim

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Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after unearthing a major fake Indian passport racket in simultaneous raids in Bengal and Sikkim searched more locations in Kolkata and detained four more suspects and seized nearly Rs 40 lakh in cash, sources said on Monday.

The anti-corruption wing of the CBI launched fresh search operations, suspecting such fake passports are being made for the suspected terrorists, trying to sneak into India from the neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

The CBI had already seized such fake Indian passports, Aadhaar Cards and voters’ cards on Saturday in Sikkim and parts of North Bengal and arrested two persons.

” The CBI busts a major passport racket and arrests a senior superintendent of Passport Seva Laghu Kendra and a private person and seized Rs 1.90 lakh on allegations of bribery and conducts searches around 50 locations in West Bengal and Sikkim, ” a CBI release
said.

The federal probe agency said a case was registered against 24 accused including Deputy Passport Officer (DPO), Kolkata,  Senior Superintendent, PSLK, Gangtok (Sikkim) and other public servants, private persons etc.

” It was alleged that public servants of Regional Passport Office (RPO) Kolkata & Passport Seva Laghu Kendra (PSLK) Gangtok entered criminal conspiracy with others including passport agents, middlemen and in pursuance of said conspiracy, the accused were issuing
passports on the basis of false and forged identity documents submitted by middlemen on behalf of those persons/applicants who are non-residents of India in lieu of illegal gratification, “he CBI statement said.

The CBI recovered Rs. 1.90 Lakh from the Senior Superintendent, PSLK Gangtok while accepting the same from a private person (an agent) at Siliguri. Both the accused were apprehended.

” During the search, an amount of Rs. 3.08 Lakh (approx) was also recovered from the possession of the said public servant.

” As part of the crackdown on the racket, searches were conducted at around 50 places including at Kolkata, Gangtok, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Alipur Duar etc. at the premises of accused including public servants & others which led to recovery of large number of incriminating documents related to identity proofs, issuance of forged passports, ”
the CBI statement said.

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