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Forgers leave Nadra uneasy

November 16, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Nov 15: A sting operation carried out by the capital police in Darra Adamkhel busted a criminal gang involved in forging identification documents and arms licences, but shattered Nadra’s claims about stringent security measures used in preparing its documents.

It seemed that the gang had little to no trouble in breaking and replicating government-issued identification documents.

According to sources in the security establishment, the gang in Darra Adamkhel had been forging “highly secure” computerised national identity cards (CNICs), machine readable passports and computerised arms and drivers licences for over a year.

“The gang had imported all the raw materials, including lamination sheets, holographic features, cards and papers used from abroad. It was really difficult to differentiate between the documents issued by Nadra and those forged by the gang,” revealed a source in the police.

Apparently, terrorists had also obtained fake identification and computerised arms licences in large number from the operatives of the gang.

For a while the police had inkling that forged documents were being used by criminals, as many times during verification they could not be traced within Nadra’s records.

The breakthrough finally came on November 10, when a local operative of the gang was arrested by the capital’s Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) from the Bari Imam area.

During his interrogation, supervised by in-charge CIA Superintendent of Police Mustansar Feroz, the operative revealed that a man by the name of Badhar Khan in Darra was involved in making such documents.

The capital police approached the interior ministry and requested it to direct the political agent of Darra Adamkhel to help trace and bust the gang.

“The interior ministry was also requested to approach the provincial governments, including home departments, to take action against the operatives of the gangs spread all over the country,” the source added.

Eventually, a sting operation was planned and a police agent was sent to the tribal areas to get a driver’s licence.

Badhar Khan fell for the bait, and made the driver’s licence for the policeman against Rs5,000.

When Badhar handed over the document, the CIA staff arrested him.

Later a case was registered against him under sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The accused was produced in the court from where he was taken into custody on physical remand.

Sources allege that Badhar Khan has admitted that he had been working for the gang for the last one year.

“He charged Rs20,000 for arm licences, Rs15,000 for passport, Rs10,000 for CNIC and Rs5,000 for driving licence, and kept 15-20 per cent as his share,” the source revealed. “He claimed to have made over 500 CNICs, machine readable passports, computerised arms and drivers licences.”

The accused further told the investigators that the gang had operatives in all major cities and districts of the country.

“The gang has separate wings which work separately, including collecting details from their operatives all over the country and bringing documents from Darra Adamkhel. Details of the people were given on phone, and photos were sent via mail or email,” the police source claimed.

Following the revelations, the CIA staff recovered 30 CNICs and licences.

However, the identification of the main operators of the gang is still unknown as they used operatives in cities and provided them with the materials but never revealed their own identity.

Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan confirmed the arrest and termed it a great success. “It is very big scam,” the police chief added.

The identification of the gang member is yet to be identified either they were criminals, militants or affiliated with militants outfit, the IGP said, adding, that “investigators are probing the case from all angles.”