An Indian expat who went on leave is now stranded in India after finding that the UAE visa page from his passport has disappeared, a report on Emirates 24|7 says.
Hassan Kutty, an Indian salesperson of a supermarket in Abu Dhabi took a flight to the Mangalore International Airport on July 24, 2015.
When he was trying to return to the UAE after a few months, he wasn’t allowed to board the flight because the visa page in his passport was missing.
Similar complaints of passport tampering
Other passengers travelling through Mangalore International Airport have also alleged that their passports have been tampered with.
Hassan Kutty vaguely remembers that an official asked for his passport while he was waiting for his baggage, and returned it after some time.
He says he did not feel the need to check the passport at that time. He has now approached the concerned authorities with the complaint.
“Such cases are vaguely reported and it is not happening on a wide scale,” said an official from a leading travel agency in Dubai.
Warning e-mail by Indian companies
Few years back, Times of India had reported that some leading international companies in Bangalore have been alerting their employees to be careful at airports in India.
The e-mail says there have been instances where passports have been tampered with at the time of immigration clearance at the international airports in India.
“If the traveller is not looking at the passport being stamped, one or two pages get torn and the case reported at the computer terminal. With suitable networking in place, the person’s arrival in India later alerts the involved officials and the person is taken aside for interrogation. Subject to the passenger’s period of stay abroad, his income and standing, the price to get rid of the problem is settled,” the e-mail explains.
When contacted by TOI, immigration officials at Bangalore Airport said there were “remote chances” of such an act as the immigration offices at different airports were not networked, but they did not rule out the possibility.
“We do get cases of torn/damaged passport once in a while, say one or two in a month. Such people are detained for interrogation, but if a page is missing then the person is not allowed to travel,” said DCP Intelligence Subu Rama, Officer in charge of Immigration at Bangalore Airport.