One fine day, you
get an opportunity to leave for foreign shores, to earn a livelihood or
maybe to simply roam around. You approach the concerned officials to
prepare your passport. Therein lies the twist. Say
the authorities, that you do not exist in this
Many Indians have
already faced such a situation, especially while traveling to Portugal.
The reason behind this human smuggling involves a bit of history, culture
This phenomenon of
sending false candidates abroad to Portugal
is rampant in Goa and Daman.
An astonishing fact is that, rather than certain Goans,
who have the right to stake a claim for Portuguese nationality, it is
the Gujarati community that has capitalised on
the legal loopholes, or can we say opportunities! To start with, let us
take a peep into history.
On 18th December
1961, the Indian military annexed the then Portugese
occupied areas of the Indian Union i.e. Goa,
Daman and Diu.
According to the Portugese legislation, any
citizen of Goa, Daman and Diu, born in these territories before 18
December 1961 can apply for Portugese
The 1975 Portugese National Law also holds that, descendants of
those born before 1961, until their third generation, can apply for a valid
Portugese passport. This is because Portugese government concluded that, in 1961,
Indian citizenship was imposed on the residents of those territories.
Hence those nationals should be provided with an opportunity to obtain Portugese citizenship, if they declare their intention
and register their births and deaths at Lisbon.
However, many non-eligible Indians took
this rule as an opportunity to gatecrash into Portugal and then other
European nations. These illegal entrants take the assistance of various agents
or touts. This whole racket has become a flourishing industry in itself, so
much so that these touts are advertising their services openly in Goa and Daman.
However, the Goa
consulate, as well as the Portugese
officials prefer to keep mum about these activities. Even though the
middlemen have a prominent role to play in such rackets, the role of the
embassy and consulate officials cannot be ignored. However, such matters
never come to light and this business continue to
Generally these criminals posses the TEORs of
the residents of Goa, Daman and Diu. A TEOR is the birth certificate of a
person, born during Portugese rule. These agents
sold the TEORs to many Gujarat
citizens, notable amongst them are the residents
of Kheda Jilla, Nadiad, Dholka, Vaso and Anand.
It has also been
observed that many Gujarat residents migrated to UK with the help of these fake
certificates. Another shocking fact is that, these culprits obtained the
details of dead Catholic citizens from graveyards and used them to
fabricate documents. By the time the average Goa
and Daman resident came to know about this scandal, many people had already
moved to Europe under false names.
This scandal came to
light when a certain Mr. Nazim Samsudin complained to the officials. Mr. Samsudin applied for Portugese
nationality in the year 1998. He submitted all the required documents and
details to the Portugese Consulate at Goa.
However, in January
2001, he received a letter from the officials, stating that someone else
had already been registered under his name in the year 1986. Soon other
citizens too complained of similar incidents and the police took up this
matter seriously. However, in the fake certificate of Nazim
Samsudin dated 7-3-86, a certain glitch can be
spotted. The culprit, who has forged Samsudinís
signature has signed the certificate in Hindi (Devanagari
script), but assuming a different name. Had this slip-up been spotted and
reported then, maybe this racket could have been nipped in the bud.
exists in case of non-European nations too. Says Addl. CP, Mr. Parambir Singh, ďA few years back I handled a case
wherein a producer was smuggling people to Canada. Even though the main
culprit died before we could arrest him, we managed to nab the agent.Ē The
recent Daler Mehndi incident
is a glaring example. Though he was acquitted, his brother stays booked for
illegally transporting people under the guise of crew members. One can
spot illegal immigrants selling wares near Eiffel
Tower in Paris. They make a hasty exit as soon as the
advantage of Portugal
is that it is a country that comes under the Schengen
zone. If one obtains a Schengen visa, he/she can
move around 15 countries within Europe,
virtually without border checks. Generally these criminals are nabbed
while escaping to the USA
in this case, is accused of pursuing this fake Portugal passport case at a
snailís pace. In fact, this whole scam is supposed to have been initiated
by a Civil Registrar cum Sub Registrar, along with a few agents in the
1980s in order to curb the rights of the citizens. Since then, thousands of
fake passports have been issued, thereby leaving average citizens in the