The Bengaluru Rural police said they have busted a nine-member gang, including a software engineer and a pharmacist, for allegedly helping illegal migrants, especially from Bangladesh, get Aadhaar card and other citizenship-related documents. The gang had converted Rs four crore into Bangladeshi currency and transferred it to the neighbouring country in just one year.
According to the police, on April 15 this year, Rs 18 lakh was looted from an ATM at Chikkagollarahatti village under Madanayakanahalli police station limits. In this connection, police arrested Sheikh Ismail Kitab Ali from Bangladesh. During interrogation, Kitab Ali revealed about Syed Akoon alias Shahid Ahmed who had come to India illegally from the Tripura border and started a scrap and plastic waste company in the city. Akoon used to convert Indian rupee into Bangladeshi currency from his account through agents and transfer the money to his native country.
Based on his inputs, police arrested his son Suman Islam from Hottappanapalya under the Madanayakanahalli police station limits. On interrogation, they revealed that they used to get the Aadhaar card using the BBMP letter-head, seal and signature of the BBMP health officers. They used to submit the documents to the Bengaluru One Centre and obtain Aadhaar card. Their interrogation led to the arrest of Mohammed Abdul Aleem, who hails from Kulla in Bangladesh capital Dhaka. He used to help get illegal migrants get Aadhaar card using BBMP letter-head and seal.
For this service, he used to charge them between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Following their inputs, police arrested Suhail Ahmed, Mohammed Hidayat, Ayesha, Mohammed Amin Sait, Rakesh, Syed Mansoor and Ishtiyaq Pasha alias Medical Pasha, who hail from Devara Jeevanahalli police station limits. The police said Rakesh is a software engineer who became jobless post COVID-19. To make a living he used to create fake letters of gazetted rank officers. Ishtiyaq was working as a temporary employee in a BBMP hospital, police said adding that he has confessed to creating many fake negative COVID reports, fake vaccination reports and fake seals of the gazetted rank officers for getting Aadhaar card.
The police said they have seized five seals of health officers at five BBMP hospitals, 26 fake letter-heads to create fake seals, 16 mobile phones, three CPUs, two laptops, two printers, 31 Aadhaar cards, 13 PAN cards, 28 voter IDs, four e-Shram cards, five driving licence, three Ayushman Bharat Health Cards, two ATM cards, three voter ID application form-6, 92 certificates for Aadhaar enrolment/update form with seals of BBMP medical officers from the accused. Hunt is on to trace the absconding persons, the police said.
The police said the kingpin has three bank accounts. From these accounts, the money was transferred to various other accounts in Kolkata, Chennai, and Punjab. Further, the Indian currency was converted into Bangladeshi currency with the help of those doing business in India-Bangladesh border and then send it to Bangladesh. “It has come to light that in one year he has converted Rs four crore in Bangladeshi currency and transferred it to his native country. There is a need to freeze at least 13 bank accounts across India and investigate them,” police said in a statement.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra lauded the Bengaluru rural police for busting the network. Emphasising on tight vigil on those who harbour illegal migrants and their activities, Jnanendra said, “Our government has taken the issue of illegal migrants seriously and will initiate stringent action against them. Directions have been given to the officers to take stringent action against illegal migrants in every police station of the State.” The case came to light after the arrest of Jammu and Kashmir terrorist Talib Hussain Gujjar in Bengaluru. The terrorist was holed up in a mosque in the city for the past eight years and used to give sermons every Friday.
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