CHENNAI: A city-based travel agent has been arrested by the Delhi Special Cell police for running a fake passport racket. Sources said the arrest was made based on a tip-off provided by an ISIS sympathiser, who was recently deported from Turkey.
Shahjahan Velluva Kandy, 32, a native of Kerala, was recently arrested by Delhi police soon after he was deported back to India.
Shajahan was alleged to be on his way to Syria to join the banned Islamic State.
His passport, which was found to have been obtained using fake documents, had a Chintadripet address - the locality from which the city police arrested in the last two days a police head constable and a postman for colluding in a fake passport racket.
Based on the information given by Shajahan, Delhi police landed here about a week ago and had been looking for travel agents who helped Shajahan get the fake passport.
The sleuths on Wednesday narrowed down on M Mohammed Musthaffa, 26, at his native Adirampattinam village in Thanjavur district. “He had been running the Well-go travels at Moore Street at Mannady in Chennai for the last four years. He had supplied fake passport to Shahjahan for `1.5 lakh. He had managed to get a passport in the name of Mohammed Ismail Mohideen and as though he was residing at Chintadripet,” said a police source.
Shahjahan’s passport was detected as fake only after his flight left for Turkey. Indian officials alerted their counterparts in Turkey and he was immediately sent back to India.
As Delhi police started investigating how Shahjahan got his passport, they traced that it was Musthaffa who helped him get it. A team headed by sub-inspector Amith Kumar was camping in the city to nab him. “We found that he had gone to his native Thanjavur for his wedding.
We reached his native on July 8 and kept a close watch on him. After the wedding on Tuesday, the next day he was arrested from his native,” said an officer in the intelligence wing who assisted the Delhi team.
Musthaffa was brought to Chennai on Thursday afternoon by the Delhi team where a detailed inquiry was conducted.
Based on the statement of Musthaffa, police are on the look out for one Safiq in the case and probing if any other ISIS sympathiser had obtained fake passports from Musthaffa.