Actress among five held in Chennai for fake travel papers

March 11th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, March 11 (IANS) Five persons, including two women, were arrested Tuesday in various parts of the city for allegedly using forged documents to travel abroad. Actress Flora Saini alias Asha Saini (29) and her assistant Sri Latha (29) were handed over to the authorities by the US Consulate here when documents the two women submitted for visas were found to be forged, the police said.

The two said they were going to the US to take part in “story discussions for a forthcoming movie project,” sources said. Investigation is on to find out whether the two women had earlier travelled on fake papers as well.

Immigration authorities arrested three Iraqis Abdul Hamid (40), Haider Isa (41) and Mahmud Moosa (39) when they tried to board a Paris-bound flight using fake Schengen visas. All the five have been arrested and are being interrogated.

Travel business has been affected by these attempts.

“Several people using false film assignments or bogus high profile business visits are the bane of the local travel industry. Every day, countless people try to take this easy route to emigrate to highly sought-after destinations like UK, Europe, US and Canada,” R Kalyani, a local travel agent, told IANS.

“We refuse to touch such clients, no matter how attractive their itineraries are because nine times out of ten, they are foreigners from nations in the neighbourhood like Sri Lanka or Bangladesh and are attempting to pass themselves off as Indians. Consulates have begun insisting on documentation,” Kalyani said.

Film industry sources said several little-known celebrities often try this trick, delaying shooting schedules of regular projects.

“My film starring upcoming artists that had to be shot on location in Europe and UK has been delayed for over four months because the foreign diplomatic missions are now suspicious of us because of those trying to emigrate illegally,” A. Dayalan, a film producer, said.

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