Finally, the immigration branch of Pune Airport has woken up from its slumber and installed a new passport checking machine, which automatically detects flaws of passports. These machines are used at international airports in the country.
The decision of installing a new machine came after two Myanmar nationals with fake passports passed the immigration checks and flew to Sharjah on September 21. The duo, Ansari Mehboob Alam (24) and Gazi Najbul Hasan (23), was sent back to Pune by the Sharjah authorities on September 22.
Senior police inspector Dilip Nakudkar of Airport police station told dna, “Initially, the passport checking machine was not functioning and the authorities were not aware of it. As a result, the duo managed to dodge the authorities and flew to Sharjah. Besides, the passports which they used did not require immigration clearance as they posed as skilled labourers.”
Nakudkar said the suspects were going to Sharjah as a fitter and a driver. However, sources said both do not have any skills of mechanics and driving.
Nakudkar said, “The new machine would automatically detect the authenticity of the passports. If fake passports are inserted into the machine, it will automatically detect discrepancies between the original passport and fake ones like date of birth. In this case, the addresses that were on the passports are correct, but the photos and signatures are fake.”
He was confident that the new machine would definitely help the authorities to prevent such activities in the future. “The airport recently started flights to Gulf countries. As a result, there is possibility of smuggling of gold and drugs and such cases are registering at the airport. Recently, gold and cocaine were seized from the airport,” Nakudkar added.
The Airport police are setting up a special investigating team to probe into this case. A senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told dna, “This case has to be probed by a special agency as it requires additional manpower. Moreover, the police team has to go to Deoband, Patna and Andhra Pradesh for investigation. It has become a monumental task for us. As a result, we are going to write to higher authorities to probe into this case.”