Did 10 on Mangalore flight have fake passports?

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As families of the Air India crash victims grieve for their loved ones, the Indian government has created a whole new dimension to the tragedy by confirming that 10 passengers on that flight were carrying fake passports.

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Published: Fri 28 May 2010, 12:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 4 Jul 2024, 1:59 PM

Indian Ambassador to the UAE M. K. Lokesh, speaking to Khaleej Times, said, ‘‘We have information from the foreign ministry in New Delhi which makes it clear that 10 passports were tampered with.’’ He did not go into details, but said the matter was being investigated by passport officials in India.

The mission would also help in the probe and offer help to those whose identities had been stolen.

Earlier, a resident of Dubai said the passport carried by a passenger allegedly named Abdul Samad had the same number as his. Shanavas Mammed Koya, speaking to this newspaper, said he was alive and well and at home. ‘‘Even the details of my India address and family are the same but I have not travelled anywhere nor had any plans to do so.”

Meanwhile, even if the details are ‘faked’ by the passport underground operating in India is this passenger actually called Abdul Samad or is he a third person that no one knows about?

A source in Delhi said that a few bodies are still not identified but the point is moot because even if one had to conduct DNA tests who are they looking for? There seems to be a broken link in the chain that cannot be connected because the person who died may not be the person who died, if that makes sense.

The Indian Consul General in Dubai also said investigation was on into reports which appeared in the Indian media on Thursday. ‘‘We are investigating the matter based on the media reports,’’ said Consul General Sanjay Verma.

Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, who is currently in the UAE, said the concerned agencies would probe the matter.

“This (case) is not concerned with me and other agencies concerned in India will be investigating it,” he said.

“We will find out the truth and also we will do the best to make sure that all the victims’ relatives get compensated for their loss,” he said.

“But I am of the view that whoever (with original or fake documents) has travelled in that flight has come to a tragic end and their relatives need to be compensated.”


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