Rohingya : Mohammad Faisal used the address Jungle Latifpur in Chattogram’s Sitakunda to apply for a passport.
He submitted the application online with a birth registration certificate and Bangladeshi National Identity or NID card.
But his fingerprints matched with those of a Rohingy man in the database of the Myanmar refugees’ biometric data stored by Bangladesh.
That means he is a Rohingya. The incident came to light on Aug 22.
Another person named Shafiqul arrested at the Chattogram Divisional Passport Office on Thursday.
He also submitted a nationality certificate and NID card to the passport office. But Shafiqul confessed to his Rohingya identity after the passport officials doubted him.
This is how the Rohingya refugees with false certificates are coming to make passports, according to officials.
They are obtaining the certificates from the city corporations or union council offices.
As a result, it is difficult to identify them in the crowd of passport applicants.
The fake passport applications can now be detected through cross-match with the Rohingya database if suspicion arises.
From April to August, about 100 people arrested on suspicion of being Rohingya at two passport offices at Panchlaish and Mansurabad in Chattogram.
Abu Saeed, a director of the Chattogram Divisional Passport and Visa Office.
Told that the Rohingya are submitting their birth registration, national certificates and NID card with their passport applications.
These papers cannot be called fake because these are certified by real people with jurisdiction, the official said.
“But if the applicant’s attitude and conversations give rise to suspicion,
we hand them to police after being certain that they are Rohingya,” he said.
According to papers submitted by Faisal, he took the birth certificate from Lalkhan Bazar ward under Chattogram City Corporation and the nationality certificate from Salimpur union council under Sitakunda Upazila.
Faisal also submitted NIDs of his ‘parents’, identified as Md Nasim and Shamjida Begum, passport department official Abu Saeed said.
The Rohingya man had traveled to Bangladesh from Myanmar with his father Sona Mia and mother Anwara Begum when he was 4 years old.
The family had first taken shelter at a refugee camp at Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar.
but later moved to Naikkhyanchharhi in Bandarban.
Shafiqul, who was detained on Thursday, mentioned Fatikchharhi of Chattogram as his address in the NID card and nationality certificate.
The Rohingya man has been residing in the area since 2014 when his family of five.
including his parents and siblings, crossed the border into Bangladesh.
A Rohingya woman identified as Sumaiya Akter was detained on Aug 22 while applying for a passport in Chattogram.
She obtained a birth certificate from Pathantooli ward in the port city.
Many Rohingya are living in Muslim-majority countries allegedly using Bangladeshi passports.
After a recent investigation revealed that a Rohingya man, Nazir Ahmed, had been residing in Saudi Arabia with Bangladeshi passport,
police said they suspected a syndicate was working in Bangladesh to give the refugees Bangladeshi passports with funds from Rohingya living in Saudi Arabia.
Nazir was detained at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka while he was trying to travel back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Once arrested in Bangladesh on charges of trafficking in drugs, Nazir has businesses in the Gulf kingdom as well.
His detention at the airport followed the arrest of one of his wives,
Ramzan Bibi alias ‘Lake’, a Rohingya woman, with a fake NID card on her in Chattogram on Aug 28.
“Field-level officers must be alert so that no Rohingya can collect birth certificate, nationality certificate or NID card.
It will be difficult for the Rohingya to apply for Bangladeshi passports if the public representatives check the applicant information first,” advises Al Amin Mridha, in-charge of the passport office at Panchlaish.
Abdul Waris, Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch, said they were watchful to stop the Rohingya from applying for Bangladeshi passports.
“Many Rohingya refugees are able to collect different certificates due to wilful or inadvertent mistakes of councilors or officials at union councils,” he said.