Indian mission denies reports on passports missing

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Dubai, Apr 29 (UNI) The Indian mission in the UAE has categorically denied a report in the Indian media that nearly 500 blank passports had gone missing from the Indian Consulate in Dubai six months ago.

According to the report, some of these missing passports had allegedly ended up in the hands of the relatives of one of India's most wanted fugitives.

Talmiz Ahmed, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Khaleej Times that the report was completely baseless. He said not a single passport had gone missing from the Indian consulate in Dubai. I "I categorically deny any such incident to have occurred. The report is completely baseless," said Ahmed.

Refuting the allegations, a press statement issued by the Indian consulate in Dubai said, "No passports are missing from the Consulate General of India in Dubai and no inquiry has been carried out at the Consulate with regard to any missing passport.

The statement, however, stated that "In March 2007, 20 parcels containing blank passports were forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi by the Indian Security Press en route to Consulate General of India, Dubai.

These parcels were to be collected by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi and then forwarded to the Consulate by a diplomatic bag. However, the Ministry of External Affairs discovered that five of these parcels containing 500 passports were missing in New Delhi.

"The Commandant of the CISF, IGI Airport, New Delhi also informed the Ministry that certain number of passports were found in scattered condition in the IGI Airport area. The Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian Security Press, Nasik, and the CISF unit of IGI Airport are inquiring into the loss of these passports in New Delhi," the statement added.

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