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Questionnaire helps filter illegal immigrants

Posted on November 3, 2011
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blankAHMEDABAD: For ‘Kabootars’ flying out of Ahmedabad airport will no more be the same. The immigration department has prepared a ‘sharp’ questionnaire to clip the wings of illegal immigrants. International flyers, especially those who are traveling to countries where visa is stamped on arrival, will have to face a test of 48 questions before boarding.

From your knowledge about the geography and history of the destination you are traveling to, detailed account of travel’s purpose, to your background, the questions have been framed by the special branch of city police that supervises the immigration work at Ahmedabad airport.

In absence of sophisticated gadgets that help detect fake visas and forged passports, the questionnaire seems like a useful tool in immigration officials’ hands. In the last two months, since the rigorous questioning has been introduced, the immigration officials have caught more than 10 illegal immigrants at Ahmedabad airport. “Be it an imposter who we caught sporting a fake moustache or a girl traveling on someone else’s passport, our questions have exposed many. In both the cases, the rigorous questing broke their confidence and they confessed to their crime,” said an immigration official.

Joint police commissioner, special branch, Shamsher Singh said that the immigration officials underwent training before they were given the questionnaire. “Most of the dubious visa agents train their clients to deal with the immigration officials. The illegal immigrants are confident too when they come to the airport, but the officers were trained by Central Intelligence Bureau and Mumbai immigration officials on how to look beyond the masked confidence,” said Singh.

Immigration department officials said that on several occasions they have to face the heat as travelers who had got clearance from Ahmedabad airport were sent back from other countries where it was found that they were traveling on fake documents. Many immigration officials have also been suspended for not able to stop the flyers at Ahmedabad airport.

Since the last few years, Ahmedabad airport has been exploited by flyers not just from Gujarat but from states like Tamil Naidu for flying out illegally. The highest numbers of detainees are immigrants flying to Dubai who from there fly illegally to the US or UK.

Ankur Jain

1 Nov 2011

articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-11-01/ahmedabad/30345077_1_illegal-immigrants-immigration-work-ahmedabad-airport

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