Belagavi: When immigration officials at the Pune International Airport arrested Mohammed Al Ameen Shauqique Bepari on 2 May, 2017, little did they realise that they would be opening a Pandora's Box.
Bepari, 26, a resident of Lakshmipura, Medhinapur police station of Bangladesh, was taken into custody by the immigration officer of Pune. Bepari claimed that he was a native of Belagavi and was on his way to Dubai.
But the immigration officer grew suspicious and posed a series of questions both in Kannada and Marathi. When Bepari panicked in his reply, he was taken into custody and sent to Bengaluru for interrogation. The Bengaluru police dispatched him immediately to the Belagavi Police.
DCP G Radhika said the accused had obtained an Aadhar card, ration card and also Pan card from Belagavi and had filed three years of IT returns. He confessed that he wanted an Indian visa as he would be able to earn more. He also said that if he went as an Indian citizen, he would be able to get visa easily.
Following the arrest, the police began further investigation and on Saturday arrested seven more Bangaldeshis, who were staying at Auto Nagar in Belagavi.
The accused have been identified as Abdul Hai Nihar Ali, 60, Rohan Sheikh Minto Shiekh, Hanan Shabbir Shawdur (both aged between 21 and 22), Hakib Ali Hussain, 20, Hafzulla Islam and Anjum Baig, 37. All the accused were produced before the court. Judge Champaka remanded them in 14 days of judicial custody.
The police said the city was being used as a transit point by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, who either go to Canada or the Middle East.
The accused have been booked for cheating and illegally entering the country. The police suspect that a network of people was involved in forging required documents and other papers to help these immigrants.