KOLKATA: West Bengal security agencies have launched raids in four districts bordering Bangladesh to nab more than 70 touts involved in making Indian passports from fake voter IDs and Aadhaar cards for alleged Bangladeshi criminals and terror operatives sneaking into India.

According to sources, interrogation of four Bangladeshi nationals nabbed recently at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata revealed that over 70 touts in North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda districts of West Bengal are involved in making passports for Bangladeshis with the help of fake Aadhaar and voter ID cards.

Police sources revealed that most of the Bangladeshi applicants for Indian passports have criminal records at Bangladesh police stations and want to seek refuge in India to flee prosecution in their nation. The investigation has found that while many of these criminals have terror links, several others are on the radar of Islamic terror organisations who want to recruit them like Lashkar-e-Toiba recruited petty criminal Ajmal Kasab for the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

“The four Bangladeshis revealed that the touts lend their addresses in the fake documents and charged Rs 30,000 for making the passports. We have identified the 70 touts involved in this racket and have found their links with Bangladesh-based terror organisations such as JMB (Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) and HuJI (Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami).

We have launched raids at several locations in the four districts. We hope to arrest the accused soon,” a senior police official told the New Indian Express.

“The touts print the Aadhaar cards in select cyber cafes, which we have identified, and direct police to their own addresses during verification claiming that his address was that of the applicant Bangladeshi national,” he added.

A nexus between few corrupt police officials and the touts has also emerged after the arrest of a police constable from Murshidabad who is accused of enabling valid Indian documents for Bangladeshi criminals. Several big fishes may also get trapped in the net during further investigation.

Indian passports and fake Aadhaar and voter ID cards were recovered from Burdwan blast accused Bangladeshi terror operatives of JMB nabbed in September last year and Al Qaeda-affiliated Ansarul Bangla Team operatives nabbed recently who were suspected of planning a major strike in Kolkata.