In 2018, the pair made their first effort to visit the United States. Their plans to reside there were dashed when they were deported from Ireland for flying on forged passports.
Ahmedabad: On Sunday, a couple from Gujarat’s Kheda district was arrested at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport for reportedly attempting to fly to the United States using forged passports.
Hitesh Patel, a 32-year-old agriculturist from Singali village in Mahudha taluka in Kheda district, and his 30-year-old wife Binal were eager to go to another country with their four-year-old daughter. And they were willing to move to America at any cost.
Despite this, the pair did not give up on their dream of staying in the US. When another opportunity to enter the country illegally with the help of a human smuggler presented itself, Patel reportedly inked a Rs 1 crore deal with him.
Binal, Hitesh’s wife, resigned from her primary school teacher work. The pair was apprehended at Ahmedabad airport and then detained for concealing the information of their previous deportation and using fake passports to go to Dubai late Sunday night.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) officials investigating the matter informed them that Hitesh and Binal were going to travel to the US via the Dubai-Mexico route and had even obtained fresh passports with the assistance of a human smuggler from Mumbai.
According to sources, Hitesh’s sister and brother-in-law were situated in the US and earning well, which fueled the couple’s desire to visit the US at any cost.
According to a SOG official, “The couple landed in Ireland in June 2018 and were deported in just four days. After reaching India, they approached a human smuggler, who was introduced to them by Hitesh’s brother-in-law in Mumbai. The agent took their passports and gave them new ones. The agent may have removed the passport pages with stamps marking them as deportees and fixed new blank pages.”
An immigration official at Ahmedabad airport terminal-2 recognised the pair and determined that they had been deported to India previously, but their passport stamps were missing.
A case was filed against the pair with the Airport police under relevant provisions of cheating and forgery, and the investigation was turned over to SOGs.