Aberrations in administration, brokers help Rohingyas get passports

Humayun Masud, Chattogram
Published : 02:00, Sep 10, 2019 | Updated : 02:00, Sep 10, 2019

A general view of Bangladesh passportA broker called Saiful who operates around Mansurabad passport office in Chattogram said that without help in police verification, he will take Tk 5000 and with verification Tk 7300.
When this reporter, posing as a passport applicant asked, Saiful opened up further and said: “If you are not a resident of Chattogram then two verifications will be needed and the price will be Tk 7,300. For emergency, the cost will be Tk 12,000.”
It’s believed that this chance is being exploited by Rohingyas.
But there is also a belief that Election Commission and local representatives are also complicit because Rohingyas reportedly collected NIDs from Election Commission and then applied for passports.
A resident of Mirsarai got a passport without verification and that person says: “I made the passport with help from brokers and within a week got the book.”
Several people have said that verification is perfunctory and the antecedents of a person are not properly checked.
The police who come on verification duty go back satisfied if they are given some money for tea and snacks. If the money is not paid then they deliberately complicate the verification process, say recent passport applicants.
Rohingya refugee children walk along the road at Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 16, 2018. REUTERS/File PhotoChattogram district Superintendant of Police, Nur e Alam Mina, says: “For verification we gather information about the applicant, citizenship, certificate and NID.”
See, if police go into proper investigation, there will be delay in handing the passport and then the applicant will complain of harassment, he lamented the catch-22 situation.
Slipshod verification was a norm of the past but the situation has changed now, said Chattogram deputy commissioner of police, (SB) Abdul Warish.
A police member on verification duty gets conveyance allowance (TA/DA) so people should not give any extra money.