Police have busted a fake passport racket in Tamil Nadu, which helped Sri Lankan nationals fly abroad from the city as Indian citizens. Two Sri Lankans, including a 38-year-old woman, suspected to be part of the racket, have been arrested, police said. Earlier, the crime branch wing had arrested 11 people, including a travel agent, for allegedly preparing fake passports by collecting amounts of upto Rs 10 lakh from Sri Lankan nationals.
Police said investigations revealed that the woman had come to Tamil Nadu from the island nation on a tourist visa some time back and had been staying here well past its expiry date. She had sought the help of the travel agent, who prepared a fake passport for her. Her accomplice, who also possessed a Sri Lankan passport, managed to get a fake Aadhar card for her, police said. The woman and her accomplice were arrested from a house in the city yesterday and produced before a local court, which later sent them to Puzhal central prison.
Describing the modus operandi, police said the travel agent used to prepare fake Indian passports for Sri Lankan nationals, based on the information he received from his aide in Colombo. The man, with the help of his gang, collected expired passports from people of economically weaker sections and sold them to Sri Lankan nationals as valid Indian passports for a monetary consideration. Police also recovered 77 Indian passports, 12 Sri Lankan passports and machines used to prepare them and cash of Rs 85,000.