The CBI today registered an FIR to probe the nexus between unknown MEA officials and agents who allegedly arranged "official" passports for private persons by showing them as Arunachal Pradesh government officials to facilitate their trafficking to the US.
The conspiracy was hatched to get "official" passports to 12 people on the basis of forged documents showing them as officials of the Arunachal Pradesh government, the FIR said.
"Official" passports, with white cover, are issued to government officials if they are travelling on official assignments.
The agency registered the FIR against private individuals Raja Kipa, Thupten, Kalden Kunseng and Lucky and unknown officials of the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) on the basis of a tip off received by it.
In its FIR, the CBI has levelled the charges of criminal misconduct by public servants, criminal conspiracy, trafficking, cheating, forgery and fraudulently obtaining official passport by furnishing false information among others.
The alleged criminal conspiracy was hatched between December, 2016 and March this year, the FIR said.
It is alleged that the 12 people had applied for non- immigrant visa for the US and presented their "official" passports along with letter purportedly written by the ministry to the US Consulate in Kolkata, the FIR said.
They were called for visa interview but only four persons appeared for it on March 14, 2017 at the US Embassy here posing as government officials of Arunachal Pradesh, it said.
During the interview, they admitted not being government officials and disclosed their real identities.
These persons disclosed during the interview that agents Kipa, Thupten and Kunseng had taken lakhs of rupees from them for preparing their passports and obtaining US visa in assumed names.
Lucky had allegedly provided them with fake ID cards of Arunachal Pradesh government and also accompanied them to the US Embassy here for the interview.
This is not the first case of such cheating as the information received by the CBI showed that a similar group of 10 people claiming to be Arunachal Pradesh government had travelled to the US on December 10, 2016.
Among them was one of the master conspirators Kipa who was identified from his photograph by those who appeared for the visa interview on March 14 at the embassy.
CBI sources said they would soon be calling MEA records related to issuance of passports to these persons.