Fake passports duck scan

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The immigration officials at Nedumbassery airport are handicapped due to the lack of facilities and training to detect fake foreign passports and visas unlike their counterparts in Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Several countries keep changing the security features of their passports and the authorities feel that the ministry of external affairs should take the initiative to train them periodically with the respective embassies to help them detect fake cases.

“The need of the hour is to extend training to select staff as is done in Mumbai and Delhi which will enhance surveillance,” said a senior immigration official.

He said that because of the absence of such a facility they couldn’t detect the Afghan national who exited the airport on an Iranian passport recently, only to land again in CIAL.

The Passport Information Service On Net (PISON) which was in existence till six months ago was useful in checking Indian passports.

The system has now been replaced with PRIDE. However, a new comprehensive system called Immigration Visa Foreigners Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) is expected by 2014 which will take care of the entire gamut of issues including foreign visas and foreign passports. The task on hand is to plug the loopholes in the intervening period.

Citing a recent incident, the official said despite the cop being familiar with the security features, he allowed a woman from Kazhakkoottam to go to the Gulf on a fake passport.

The woman landed in a sex racket later and escaped. When she returned to India, she was caught by the Mumbai immigration officials. The probe into the case is on.

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