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Home > News > Report

CBI probing passport racket in Europe

Josy Joseph in New Delhi | March 18, 2004 09:44 IST

Hundreds of illegal immigrants leave India every year by manipulating corrupt officialdom and personnel manning the borders, and paying money to human traffickers.

Several of them end up in Europe, where they obtain new passports and identities with the help of corrupt Indian diplomats.

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Madrid blasts: Indian suspects identified

Vinay Kohli and Suresh Kumar, the Indian suspects in the Madrid blasts, which killed 201 and injured some 1,500 persons last Thursday, could be two such immigrants, according to officials in Delhi.

"We have no definite information on their background and other details but it seems they reached Spain illegally," a government official dealing with Europe told

Questions are now again being asked about the immigration rackets in India and the corruption in Indian missions abroad.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the racket of issuing emergency passports in return for bribes, which reportedly involves some Indian diplomats in Europe.

A CBI team carried out extensive investigations in Europe and found 'details of hundreds of illegal passports' issued under emergency powers granted to missions.

Besides, an intelligence official told that the sale of mobile phones to the terrorists point towards another trend.

Mobile phones are either stolen or acquired from phone companies under schemes in which the instruments and SIM cards are given out at rates lower than those prevailing in the market. "A large number of these mobiles reach the black market in India," the official claims.

An Indian intelligence officer says thousands of cell-phones are smuggled from Europe into India and rest of South Asia by well-entrenched racketeers.

More reports from Delhi
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