DCP (IGI) Tanu Sharma, the first woman officer to head the IGI unit of Delhi Police is nipping the bud of huge immigration rackets operating in the country
In an exclusive interview with BW PoliceWorld magazine, DCP (IGI) Tanu Sharma talks about the recent crackdown on the syndicates, immigration rackets and well-oiled network of the gangs behind the rackets
Photo Credit : DCP IGI Unit, Delhi Police, DCP IGI Unit, DCP IGI Unit, DCP IGI Unit, DCP IGI Unit,
New Delhi, August 29
The Indira Gandhi International Airport is country’s busiest airport with key VVIP movements, Aerocity with upscale hospitality and high profile gentry. The airport unit of Delhi Police has been ensuring law and order around the airport, a sensitive and important zone of the city that has a nonstop footfall of travellers.
Known as the IGI unit of Delhi Police, it has recently unfolded some of the biggest international VISA rackets and busting syndicates of the fraudsters off late under the aegis of DCP (IGI), Tanu Sharma.
DCP (IGI) Tanu Sharma is the first woman officer to head the IGI unit of Delhi Police.
In an exclusive interview with BW PoliceWorld magazine, DCP (IGI) Tanu Sharma talks about the recent crackdown on syndicates, immigration rackets and well-oiled network of the gangs behind rackets.
1) You are the first woman officer to be posted as DCP (IGI) who has started to unearth huge rackets in a small period of time. Tell us about the huge crackdown on the VISA fraud running from Mumbai.
We recently busted huge racket running through agents from Mumbai with aides from Gujarat. In a first, any police unit in the country seized 325 Indian Passports, 175 VISAS and over 1200 forged Immigration stamps of different countries and Airports along with other incriminating material.
The agents Narayanbhai, Zakir Yusuf Shaikh and Mushtaq alias Jamil Picturewala were running a network of fake VISAs. It all started when immigration arrested Ravi Rameshbhai Chaudhary with a fake passport. Chaudhary was given false assurance from agent Narayanbhai in Gujarat that he can arrange fake passport and VISA to him in lieu of Rs 65 lakhs and shared the contacts of his associates namely Zakir Yusuf Shaikh and Mushtaq alias Jamil Picturewala based in Mumbai.
The deal was finalized for Rs 65 lakhs and Chaudhary made an initial payment Rs 15 lakhs in cash and managed a fake passport to Kuwait and fake VISA to Netherlands. Jamil is a financer in Bollywood while the mastermind of the network was Zakir Shaikh. It was a rat and mouse chase where we had to hunt them down at Madh Island after they fled places to evade arrests learning about the arrest of Chaudhary. We are unearthing more persons in their network.
2) Your team busted an international Bangladeshi illegal immigration racket on Indian VISAs. Tell us more about it.
Four Bangladeshi nationals had illegally entered India and had fraudulently obtained Indian passports through some agents from Surat in Gujarat. The agents were identified as Apon Yusuf Khan from Vapi and Ankit Kumar Jha from Valsad in Gujarat. The arrested agents told police that they are in contact with the agents namely Tohin and Sujon of Kolkata since last six years. They were working in a syndicate with Tohin and Sujon who provide Indian IDs to send Bangladeshi people abroad and thereafter they arrange further Indian documents to apply for Indian Passports.
The agent, Apon, himself crossed the border and had entered into West Bengal from Siliguri border. Initially he worked as a tailor in Thane for seven to eight years and then he shifted to Vapi. He is an active member of the illegal business of sending Bangladeshi people to UAE by fraudulently procuring the Indian documents for them. The main agent Tohin used to send money on regular basis. Ankit Kumar Jha was working as operator in SBI/CIC in Umargaon in Valsad of Gujarat where he used to do biometric for making Adhaar Card.
The busting of such networks is important as if it not unearthed, it becomes a gateway for such agents to keep sending Bangladeshis illegally on Indian VISAs.
3) Tell us about a recent arrest of a man from Delhi who looted cab drivers from the airports. What was his modus operandi?
The accused used to target innocent cab drivers by spiking their drinks. The accused, Ankush Kumar from Hari Nagar in Delhi chose a modus operandi of operating on long routes as this gave him enough room of getting acquainted with the driver, to offer him a drink. Before offering the drinks, he used to make his target stop at those roadside eateries/ dhabha on pretext of buying same from where he can easily mix heavy doses of intoxicated powdered substance directly in tetra packs/bottle through a syringe away. He then looted the cab drivers off their money and other belongings.
The accused got arrested after an Ola cab driver complained about robbery when he was booked for Jaipur to Delhi trip by the accused.
The IGI team scanned more than 100 cameras covering area across 55 kilometers approximately in a short span of time to identify the man. The CDR analysis and IMEI search of mobile phones, analysis of mobile wallets and Bank accounts were done to identify the accused.
The accused had first committed such type of crime at Kharad, Mohali in Punjab in the year 2015 and was arrested thereafter by Punjab Police. He then committed another such crime at Kashmere Gate and was arrested there as well and remained in judicial custody for almost one and half years.
4) You are also taking keen interest in boosting the functioning of the IGI team in counter terror operations and other crimes. Tell us about the recent initiatives.
The IGI unit has an independent ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) trained by the National Security Guards (NSG). We also have a BDS (Bomb Disposal Squad) that works with ATS. We have recently upgraded the skills of the ATS and BDS on alertness and counter terror operations.
I had requested for a special bullet proof vehicle for ATS on lines of the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) which has been approved by BPR&D (Bureau of Police Research & Development). The MHA will go ahead for the same. The idea is to empower the ATS with latest infrastructure to ensure the teams are ready to combat any situation.
5) You are also preparing the IGI unit personnel in drones and countering drones in the area. What is this training all about?
The training on drones and countering drones is in the pipeline. This is highly sensitive zone with maximum VVIP movements from the President’s to Prime Minister’s to foreign delegations and more. The personnel in this unit are timely trained and upgrades on the same. At the same time, the aerial activities around the Aerocity are strictly watched.
Under this the personnel need to have eagle eyes on drone activities around the area. We are preparing to train the personnel on all about drones, the laws, and guidelines and countering the drones seen in the Aerocity area. They would be taught on the parameters and details on how to spot the drones, counter them, area in which they are allowed or not. The personnel need to be prepared to keep vigilance on the skyline too.
6) You also introduced ‘Vayu Praharis in IGI unit of Delhi Police’. Tell us more about this initiative.
Vayu Praharis have been formed on the lines of the existing scheme of Praharis in Delhi Police. They have been named Vayu Praharis as they work with the IGI unit giving us stronger eyes and ears. We launched this scheme in August and under this we are sensitising and training security guards and private security personnel in the Aerocity area on alertness, awareness of their surroundings, analysis threats and be vigilant on various factors. The Vayu Praharis are also a part of our team to aide us at various levels with information and first response to threats.
7) You have also been initiated training to the IGI unit staff of Delhi Police and upgrading the infrastructure in the unit. Tell us more about it.
After I took over, I thought the police who are posted around the Aerocity area should have a more polished and courteous approach. We started training the personnel in soft skills and people skills. They are also being trained with counter terrorism point of view that even if they are deployed in civil duties, they should be fully prepared. Having said that they are also being trained on aiding the citizens who approach them who could be travellers who are in distress, women and senior citizens. This help us with behavioural changes rather upgradation of the police force.
The training is being imparted by CISF and Indigo Airlines. So far, 69 training programmes have been conducted where 1223 police personnel of the unit have been trained.
We have also set up the integrated facilitation booth near the airport where the citizens can quickly approach to file complaints and look for resolutions. Going with the installation of the special pink booths women by Delhi Police across the city, we have now installed a pink booth in the Aerocity area especially for women in distress. The women complainants will be attended by women police who will aide them. The women police have been trained specially before their appointment at the pink booths on dealing with the nature of complaints that can emerge in this area and ways to quickly look into it.
As welfare measures, we have started a fully-fledged gym for the IGI police staff at the DCP office and also built a barrack for the policemen round the clock on duty. A library has been set up with books of various genres for the policemen to read at leisure.
DCP Tanu Sharma is a DANIPS officer of 2011 batch. She started her stint as Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rohini and then as ACP Mayapuri in Delhi Police.
After the formation of CP Secretariat under then Delhi CP Rakesh Asthana, she was one of the five officers posted as SO (special officer) to CP looking into the legal division. She was then appointed as DCP (IGI) unit in May this year and in a short span of three months successfully busted some huge rackets of immigration running across the country.
Tanu Sharma's appointed as DCP (IGI) led to further boost of women police power in Delhi with as many as seven women IPS officers in charge of the districts in Delhi Police.
A native of Delhi, Tanu Sharma has been a judicial magistrate before and practiced for a short while at Tis Hazari court in Delhi before cracking the UPSC.
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