The Federal Investigation Agency and local police on Wednesday arrested a man on charges of making fake passports for the citizens on pretence of being a major in the Pakistan army. The man was arrested from Khanewal during a raid.
FIA officials talking to The Express Tribune said that they had received a complaint from Manzoor Ahmed, a construction contractor, against the accused last week for providing him fake passports and visas.
According to Ahmed, a resident of village 71/10-R, he was involved in the construction business for the past few years. He said his work also included sending labourers abroad on contract. For that, he said, he contacted Mushtaq Gondal Chaudhry, who said he had been sending labourers to Europe, Middle East and across South Asia.
The complainant said that he signed an agreement with Chaudhry for sending four men to the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. He said the four men were called to Khanewal to collect their passports and were made to stay at the City Gate Hotel with their families. Ahmed said Chaudhry charged Rs70,000 as visa fee and passport charges from each of the four men. However, Ahmed said, when he showed the visas to some travel agents, he was told that they were all fakes. He said he also contacted the UAE embassy, where the officials confirmed that the visas were bogus.
He said he then contacted the FIA and sought their help to arrest Chaudhry, who lives in Lahore. He said Chaudhry was called to Khanewal, where he was arrested by FIA officials in Khenwal.
Sub Inspector Khalid Muhammad, in charge of police investigation, said the matter was still being probed by the FIA Multan chapter. He said the FIA had obtained a three-day judicial remand of the criminal. He said the officials were trying to determine whether the suspect worked alone or as a part of a gang.
He said FIA officials had recovered fake stamps of more than 20 embassies, a number of fake passports and tampered licences of several travel agencies. They also recovered an identity card that showed him as a Pakistan Army major. The official said, his identity had yet to be established. He said a fraud case has been registered against the man.
Talking to The Tribune, Ahmed said, “The accused deceived many poor people, 90 per cent of them are labourers who do not understand immigration and employment processed in foreign countries.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.
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