Telangana police busts ‘Fingerprint surgeries’ gang, four held

Telangana: Rachakonda Police have successfully busted a racket performing fingerprint surgeries to smuggle candidates into Kuwait for jobs. The officials have arrested four people, including two who altered their fingerprints to apply for a fresh Kuwait visa.

The gang was carrying out illegal fingerprint surgeries to beat fingerprint scanners at the Kuwait airport and help those who were deported from the Gulf country to re-enter even after illegally overstaying their visas in India, said officials.

On Thursday, Rachakonda commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat addressed the media about the case. He said that the main accused, Gajjalakondugari Naga Muneswar Reddy, is a resident of Kadapa and had been working as a radiographer in Tirupati. There he met his classmate Sagabala Venkata Ramana (second accused), who is an anesthesia technician.

Muneswar Reddy met a person who was working in Kuwait and was deported to India for overstaying after his visa had expired. After learning that the man had gone to Sri Lanka to get surgery on his fingertips in order to go back to Kuwait, the accused decided to cook a plan to earn more money through this method, Mahesh added.

Reportedly, the anesthesia surgeon also joined Muneshwar in his plan and they went to Rajasthan to conduct such surgeries on two people. They charged them Rs 25,000 each for the surgeries. Later, a person from Kerala contacted the radiographer for the same and the duo traveled to the state to surgically transformed the fingertips of six other people at the cost of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Three more people, who hailed from the duo’s village, also got their fingertips altered at the cost of Rs 25,000 each.

According to the police, the two accused would cut the upper layer of the fingertip and remove a part of the tissue. Lastly, the procedure includes re-stitching the fingertip. As a result the person’s fingerprint pattern would alter.

“In a month or two, the wound gets healed and there will be a slight change of fingerprint pattern,” the police said. The accused took advantage of the fact that the technology used at Kuwait Immigration is not that advanced. The accused would alter their fingertips illegally, and then update their fingerprints at an Aadhaar centre by changing their addresses. They would then apply for a Kuwait visa and then go back to  Kuwait on a fresh visa. These new fingerprints last for one year,” the police said.

The cops got a tip-off and a Special Operations Team of the Malkajgiri Zone along with the Ghatkesar Police conducted a joint operation to nab four persons in this case on August 28. The accused were held from a hotel room inside Happy Residency Oyo Room in Annojiguda.

While Muneswar and Venkat Ramana were arrested for carrying out the surgeries, Bovilla Shiva Shankar Reddy and Rendla Rama Krishna Reddy were arrested for illegally getting their fingertips altered. Various surgical equipments used by the two, along with their mobile phones were also seized by the police.

The four have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal code including cheating, forgery, making counterfeit documents, and criminal conspiracy, as well as sections under the Aadhaar Act.

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