Olympics passport scam: FIA arrests 11 suspects

Published: July 24, 2012

One of the suspects is a Nadra official, while the remaining three are passports agents.

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday arrested 11 suspects believed to have been involved in a fake passport scam carried out by a Lahore-based politician and other officials.

UK-based tabloid The Sun had claimed to have unearthed a scam on Monday, involving a “Lahore-based politician” and other officials, wherein Pakistani nationals were brought into England under the garb of participants and officials accompanying the Pakistani Olympics delegation for the summer 2012 games – set to start on Friday.

Seven of those arrested are National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) officials, out of which five female suspects were released on personal surety bonds. They are bound to appear before FIA investigators on July 25.

Other four suspects are from passport offices, including a deputy director.

Several raiding teams of the FIA have been constituted and further raids are expected.

A team of senior Nadra officials has also arrived in Lahore to facilitate the investigations.

According to an exclusive report of a sting operation published in The Sun, a journalist allegedly broke into “a crime ring offering false passports, visas — and access to London 2012 as bogus support staff.”

The Sun had alleged that Lahore-based politician Abid Chaudhry offered its undercover reporter in Pakistan the chance to go to the Olympics posing as an official member of the Pakistani contingent on a two-month visa in return for a million rupees ($10,000).

The crime ring had been under investigation after the daily informed UK intelligence, MI6, the Home Office, the UK Border Agency and the British High Commission in Islamabad.

10 agents arrested in Faislabad

Estate Commissioners arrested 10 agents in a raid outside the passport office in Faislabad, Express News reported on Tuesday.

A case was registered against these agents who had set up a makeshift office right outside the office.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Muhammad Hassan
    Jul 24, 2012 - 11:19AM

    Will the gentlemen who termed it a conspiracy against Pakistan please come forward.

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  • Yaida M
    Jul 24, 2012 - 11:30AM

    “Pakistani sports officials rubbished claims by a British newspaper to have uncovered a visa scam…”
    The above comment was made yesterday. Today they have arrested 4 suspects!! Lying is the national pastime of the nation. No wonder nobody believes Pakistan when it says it does not have any state links with terror attacks.

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  • Liberal
    Jul 24, 2012 - 11:44AM

    This is all because of the religious extremism and the Islamist policies of General Zia.

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  • KHAN
    Jul 24, 2012 - 12:17PM

    funny!!

    I am offering a visa to mars anyone interested? Its a conspiracy against the common Pakistanis travelling to UK, so that they can be harrassed at the Bristish immigration.

    One cannot enter an olympics host country as a sports official with out accreditation card, which is issued by the National Olympics Committee of Britain this means that NOC of Britain is also involved in this scam, that said has the Sun news reporter travelled to UK as a Pakistani sports official on this passport?

    Please be cautious from people carrying Bristish passports as they are known to assasin people around the world like they did in UAE

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  • C V R Bharati
    Jul 24, 2012 - 12:20PM

    These kind of incidents cannot happen unless there is abetment / collusion at the highest levels in the concerned offices namely NADRA, passport office and also at the level of politicians.

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  • maria
    Jul 24, 2012 - 12:54PM

    They want to repeat the same 9/11 drama and want to put their foot on Pakistani grounds the way they did in Afghanistan after 9/11……Whtever wrong happens during olympic games, blame will be put on Pakistan…Just wait and watch!

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  • Faraz
    Jul 24, 2012 - 1:05PM

    @maria:
    Afghanistan has minerals, Iraq/Iran have oil. What Pakistan has? No significant resources unless you choose to live in some Mr Zaid’s fantasy world Why can’t we just be patient and wait for things to unfold, why do we have to play victim all the time? And stop predicting stupid things please. Enough of self-denial and conspiracy theories.

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  • Valerie Kaul
    Jul 24, 2012 - 1:08PM

    @KHAN: the article says, ‘The Sun had alleged that Lahore-based politician Abid Chaudhry offered its undercover reporter in Pakistan the chance to go to the Olympics posing as an official member of the Pakistani contingent on a two-month visa in return for a million rupees ($10,000).

    The politician offered. It does not say the reporter accepted!

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  • Ajamal
    Jul 24, 2012 - 1:46PM

    “a crime ring offering false passports, visas — and access to London 2012 as bogus support staff.”
    Since it is “FALSE”, how do you blame officials?

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  • Truth Bites
    Jul 24, 2012 - 2:06PM

    Visa and passport scams such as this are not limited to Pakistan. All around the world events like olympics, world cups etc are used by scammers to attract people and also use the events to apply for sham visas. Sun targeting only Pakistan may need some answers, do they really believe gangs such as this doesnt not operate in Romania, India, China, Bangladesh etc? Yes there may be some passport agents one can get passports by pribing them, and tell me if you cant get this done in India or Bangladesh?
    Adding Pakistan and terrorism become a hobby and to create hype for any story and that too from Sun, is highly credible! indeed!

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  • Jul 24, 2012 - 2:08PM

    @Liberal:
    Zia was installed by US after killing lot of Palestinians. Leave Islam out of it.

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  • Zeta
    Jul 24, 2012 - 2:26PM

    Good Job FIA.

    How about Sun now does covert op in bharat – plenty of scammers and cheaters there too

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  • M@ni
    Jul 24, 2012 - 3:08PM

    @KHAN:
    I agree that there has been something cooked for pakistan, as israel yesterday said that he has evidence that their players may be attacked in olympics and indirectly they have signaled pakistan on it also.

    Still, everything apart, getting a dubious I.D card and passport in a country which is already under the anger of world for terrorism and extremism is something very serious.

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  • Shariq
    Jul 24, 2012 - 3:23PM

    I do not understand the need for spending $10000 for a UK or any other visa. I live in Pakistan and with all the bad things going around, its not that bad after all. You can earn your living in Pakistan and have a better standard of living than in the UK.

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  • Imran Con
    Jul 24, 2012 - 3:36PM

    @Moise:
    If only people could find a way to install some intelligence or at least common sense into you.

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  • Arsie
    Jul 24, 2012 - 10:41PM

    @KHAN: best comment on the so called scam. You nailed it.

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  • BRUISED INDIAN
    Jul 25, 2012 - 4:27AM

    Oh crap! No hope left at all now. Its all gonna come tumbling now, all of it!
    Thanks to the conspiracy theories popping up!! Amazed to see even the educated class of Pakistan resorting to the self fallacies fed day after day by the self styled gurus of such preposterous analysis.

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  • Jul 25, 2012 - 9:14AM

    @Imran Con:
    Thank you for the offer but lets stick to comments. Which part of historical facts you disagree with? Zia did not killed Palestinians in September 1970? Zia was not under US patronage?

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