Sunday, September 22, 2019

Bangladesh detains six for allegedly helping Rohingya forge documents for passports

  • Narayanganj Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-09-12 00:15:12 BdST

bdnews24

The Rapid Action Battalion or RAB has detained six people in Narayanganj on charges of helping the Rohingya refugees obtain Bangladeshi passports by forging birth certificates.

RAB-2 also seized a huge amount of birth certificates and materials to forge the documents in a raid on three shops next to the regional passport office at Jalkuri in Siddhirganj on Wednesday afternoon.

The seized materials also include seals for birth certificates and hard disks with soft copies of the certificates, RAB-2 Superintendent of Police Mohiuddin Faruquee said.

The detained people are Saiful Islam, 24, Azim Hossain, 26, and Fazlul Karim, 33, of Siddhrganj, and Main Uddin, 38, and ‘Jahangir’, 36, of Dhaka, and Mamun Mia, 35, of Netrakona.

They were making the fake certificates after taking information from the national birth database server by using information from the original ones in collusion with officials of local government bodies like city corporation and union council, the RAB official said.

“They were helping the Rohingya obtain passport by making these birth certificates,” he said.

He said the six had confessed to helping 13 Rohingya refugees obtain Bangladeshi passports.

They were also helping convicts flee abroad by making them passports with fake identities, SP Mohiuddin said.

“They easily obtained passports as the information they had provided in the birth certificates matched the original ones in the birth certificate database server,” he said.

bdnews24.com recently reported how “weaknesses” in the system are failing checks on data in the online birth database for issuance of passports as many Rohingya refugees are found to have obtained fake certificates.

The ID numbers of the birth certificates some of the recently caught Rohingya had provided were real and did match those in the online birth register, a bdnews24.com investigation has found.

Passport officials said it was impossible for them to check their validity as the online database only shows names of the applicant’s parents and district, not other details such as 5he name of ward or photo.

Officials check a person’s birth certificate by putting the ID number and date of birth in the online database.

So, knowing only the birth certificate ID number and date of birth of any person can make it possible to forge the certificate.