Salesman buys new passport to evade travel ban

Suspect paid Dh1,000 for a new passport since his original one was seized by a court in 2011

Dubai: A salesman has been accused of tampering with exit and entry airport stamps on a passport that law enforcement officers caught him using, a court heard on Monday.

The officers were said to have stopped the 35-year-old Afghan salesman in Bur Dubai area and asked him for his identification papers in November.

The salesman presented a Pakistani passport to the officer who discovered that it was forged and had been tampered with.

Dubai Police’s forensic examination report confirmed that the exit and entry stamps of Sharjah and Dubai airports in the passport had been forged and that the bearer’s photograph had also been tampered with.

Prosecutors accused the Afghan suspect of forging the passport and government stamps [exit and entry airport stamps] and using the forged document.

According to the charges sheet, prosecutors said the suspect with the help of another person, who remains at large, forged the travel document.

When the suspect appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance, he pleaded not guilty and contended that he did not know that the passport was forged.

He argued before presiding judge Urfan Omar that someone had sent him the passport from Pakistan through DHL and convinced him that it was authentic.

Meanwhile, the suspect was quoted as telling to prosecutors: “I needed to travel to Saudi Arabia but couldn’t as my original passport had been confiscated by Dubai Court since 2011. I had been banned from travelling since then. So I contacted a Pakistani person, who promised to help me. I paid him Dh1,000 to arrange for me a Pakistani passport. He sent me the passport through a courier and I kept it with me until I was arrested.”

Presiding judge Omar adjourned the case until the forged passport is attached to the case file when the court reconvenes on February 1.