The National, Thursday 24th January, 2013
By JUNIOR UKAHA
THE mastermind of the Bangladesh visa racket in Papua New Guinea has been charged by task force “Rausim Alien”.
Mohammed Nizam Uddin Mahmud, 32, of Bangladeshi origin, was slapped with seven charges relating to human smuggling and operating a human smuggling racket in the country.
Each of his charges carries a bail of K5,000.
Mahmud was part of a group of six men of Bangladesh origin who were arrested by members of the task force last month.
They were allegedly operating trade store businesses at Hanuabada village in the National Capital District.
Some of the men were reportedly married to local women and operated under the auspices of their in-laws.
“The charges were in relation to making false declaration to obtain entry permit for seven other people and for impersonating as company chairman for seven other companies,” task force coordinator John Bria said.
Bria said further charges would be laid against the accused pending investigation.
Mahmud was in custody at the Boroko police station until he was taken to the organised crime unit at police headquarters in Konedobu where he was formally charged.
The task force cracked the visa racket and arrested the culprits after four months of intensive investigations, Bria said.
The task force alleged that Mahmud, the managing director of Mahmud Group of Companies, was responsible for bringing in hundreds of unskilled Bangladesh nationals into the country.
“Mahmud acts as an agent and after bringing in Bangladesh nationals into the country.
“He is paid substantial amount of money by potential employers,” Bria said.
During the investigation, it was found that Mahmud impersonated himself as the chairman of four different companies – Yohang Ltd, Hana Enterprise Ltd, H. Jakaria Ltd and J. Hera Ltd – and requested Labour and Immigration to issue work permits to Bangladesh nationals to enter the country.
“The actions of this foreigner are very serious to our national security when he is able to falsify documents and bring people into the country under different companies,” Bria said.
He said the unskilled workers brought into the country changed their status by changing employer or changing their status after marrying local women.
“Most of these businesses are small trade store type businesses that can be operated by Papua New Guinean nationals,” he said.
“These foreigners are not genuine investors.
“They submit falsified documents to authorities to obtain permits to enter the country and it has been on going until the racket was smashed.”
Bria said the task force would continue to investigate organised smuggling rackets and remove illegal immigrants and foreigners involved in these activities.