Jul 23

Olympic 2012: The Sun exposes Pakistan passport gang

LONDON: British newspaper ‘The Sun’ claims to have busted a visa scam being run by Pakistani officials and a Lahore based politician. The paper claims that the scam gives potential terrorists the chance to sneak into Britain with Pakistan’s Olympic team. Pakistani passport

An undercover investigator from the British daily infiltrated the ring offering the false passports and visas. According to the paper, their investigator was provided a Pakistani passport with a fake name.

The investigator was also informed by a Lahore based politician Abid Choudhry that 7,000 pounds could get him a two month visa and smuggle him into London 2012 as part of Pakistan’s Olympic Squad.

Choudhry further said that just over 1,000 pounds were required for an official letter from the Pakistan Sports Board saying he (investigator) was part of the country’s Olympic squad.

‘The Sun’ has alerted the MI6, the Home Office, the UK Border Agency and the British High Commission in Islamabad and an investigation is underway.

The NADRA chairman said all angles of the fake passport scam will be investigated. He added that an investigation team would be formed and strict action will be taken against those involved.

Meanwhile, Pakistani sports officials Monday rubbished claims by the British newspaper.

Pakistan’s Olympic chef de mission Aqil Shah dismissed the Sun’s claims.

“These are baseless reports,” Shah told AFP. “This is an attempt to malign Pakistan. Even if someone gets a passport he cannot enter the Olympic Village without an Olympic accreditation card.”

Pakistan’s 39-strong delegation — minus Shah — is already in London and consists of 23 athletes and 16 officials. Shah justified the number of officials.

“Hockey has at least six officials which are under the rules and then we have physicians and other coaches who are genuine members of Pakistan’s contingent,” said Shah.

Pakistan Olympic Association chief Arif Hasan was already in London and discussing the matter with the Pakistan High Commission, said Shah.