Australia probes Bangladesh official's link to fake visa for Rohingyas

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 17:14, Jan 10, 2019 | Updated : 17:24, Jan 10, 2019

Bangladesh airport immigration authority report detailing detained passenger`s claims that Employee A had issued their tourist visas.An official of the Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra has been alleged to be involved in issuing fake visas to a group of Rohingyas living in Australia, reports local media.
The alleged involvement surfaced after at least six Rohingya refugees filed complaints with the Australian police (AFP), SBS reported on ran on Thursday (Jan 10).
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is investigating the allegation of “fraud concerning the issuing of visas for travel.”
Bangladesh High Commissioner Mohammad Sufiur Rahman also confirmed that AFP are aware of the issue
"The AFP made a query to know whether the visas are genuine or not involving those who were sent back to Australia from Dhaka Airport," the report SBS quoted Rahman.
He did not comment on the allegations of the employee’s involvement put to him by the SBS.
But he did acknowledge that in April 2018 and again in November, Shamima Pervin, the Second Secretary at the High Commission had alerted them about the issue of fake visas.
Rahman also confirmed that the signature of the High Commission's Second Secretary, Shamima Pervin, had been forged on the false visas.
"We got several samples from Dhaka, we checked - that is not her signature," he said and added that investigations are continuing.
"The High Commission does not investigate. Bangladesh authorities are working on this issue," said Rahman.
Bangladeshi High Commission in Canberra phased out manually filled in visas (left) in February 2018, replaced by machine-readable visas (right).The report names, Faruk, a Rohingya man, who has been living in Australia as a Rohingya refugee for the past six years, but his mother along with his two children and his wife remain in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
He travelled to Dhaka on Dec 19, 2018, to visit his family, on what he thought was a tourist visa for Bangladesh, obtained in Australia.
However, he was detained by Immigration Police at Hazrat Shahajalal International Airport on suspicion of travelling on an invalid/fake visa.
The Australian outlet claimed to discover that he is one of at least 20 Rohingyas living in Australia who was recently detained at Dhaka international airport and deported on suspicion of invalid visas.
Bangladesh Immigration Police interrogated Faruk and the other passengers and sent them back to Australia on 20th December 2018.
During questioning they told authorities that they had collected their visas from an employee at the Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra.

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