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.