From now the crime branch unit of Mumbai police will probe into fake passport and visa cases detected at Mumbai International Airport.
Earlier, they used to fall under the purview of the local police stations. City police commissioner Sanjay Barve has recently issued out an official order regarding the same.
The order states that investigation, arrest, questioning and other legal procedures in cases of possessing or making fake passports, visa, and other travel documents shall now be looked after by the crime branch so that such cases are probed without leaving any loopholes.
According to police sources, reports of passengers possessing forged passports and visas at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport have seen a substantial rise in the recent past.
“Most cases of forged passports and visa are connected with international agencies and other foreign bodies with whom frequent coordination is required. The crime branch officers have better contacts than the local police, and they can synchronize with the agencies and can get details of the case easily. As a result, they can conduct an in-depth probe of such cases,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.
“Many times such cases can also be linked to graves crimes associated with anti-national elements, posing a threat to internal security of the country,” said the officer.
“After being detained by the immigration officers or the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials, the fake passport holders are brought to the police stations and an FIR is lodged against them. After that, the miscreants are handed over to unit 8 of the Mumbai crime branch which investigates the matter. These lawbreakers are booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Foreigners Act and sometimes under the Passport Act,” the officer added.