MUMBAI: With the arrest of the kingpin, the railway police have busted a racket of fake passes and IDs being sold for local train travel.
Anees Rathod, the prime accused, is based out of Antop Hill and used to run an agency for assisting people procure PAN and Aadhaar cards. Police said he used the opportunity the lockdown provided to diversify his work and make fake passes and IDs. He charged customers after checking their financial backgrounds.
On August 15, a footwear shop employee, Jalaluddin Ansari, was arrested at Wadala station with a fake pass which stated that he was an essential worker with the BMC’s public health department. Inquiries revealed that Ansari, a slum dweller, had got the pass from Rathod. On August 20, a female passenger, Ayushi Gupta, was found with a bogus QR code-based pass at Borivali station.
Gupta worked with an electronics store in Marine Lines. Her pass said she was a computer operator with BMC’s B Ward. The same day, another passenger, Ali Mohammad Patel, was arrested at Dadar station with a fake ID card. On one side of the card, Patel was listed as a railway employee and on the other side as a civic employee. Both Gupta and Patel told the police that they had obtained the IDs from Rathod.
“A fourth passenger, Saeed Khan, was caught at Wadala with a fake pass. But he told us that he got it from one Yunus Shaikh,” said senior inspector Rajendra Pal.
Police tracked down Shaikh and found that he had links with Rathod. Shaikh too was using a fake pass for local train travel. Shaikh and Rathod were both arrested. Rathod is in quarantine till August 28. His laptop and printer have been seized.