Visakhapatnam, Dec 9: Police today busted a racket allegedly involved in making fake birth certificates for passport applicants and arrested seven persons including a panchayat secretary and a data entry operator.
A complaint in this regard was lodged by Regional Passport Officer stating that some people from Dharmavaram area in Vizianagaram district had submitted fake birth certificates for getting them passports.
As per the norms, passport applicants born after January 26, 1989 have to submit the birth certificate issued by the Register of Birth and Deaths (RBD). However, some applicants under this category, who do not possess the certificate issued by RBD, are approaching agents to obtain forged certificates, a police officer said.
"Passport officials have identified that some applicants have submitted certificates which were issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths (Panchayat Secretary), Dharmavaram Panchayat in Vizianagaram district. They became suspicious as most of the applicants have obtained the DoB from Dharmavaram area, the passport officials listed such applicants and lodged a complaint with Inspector of Airport police station," said Joint Commissioner of Police A S Khan.
The Task Force Police arrested the main accused allegedly involved in making of fake birth certificates after questioning two applicants.
The accused are identified as P Suribabu, Panchayat Secretary of Dharmavaram, and S Santhosh, data entry operator at the Panchayat office, along with passport applicants G Seshagiri and R Nagarjuna, agents M Satish, S Raheem and K Naresh. Police have seized two computers and other material.
According to police, the racketeers used to charge Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 from a person to make a duplicate birth certificate. Khan said police are investigating if more persons were involved in the forgery.