NRI: Replace Faulty Passports


Indians Told to Get Faulty Passports Replaced
K.S. Ramkumar, Arab News

JEDDAH, 30 April 2008 — The Consulate General of India has been replacing passports bearing numbers of a particular series free of charge.

“Passports bearing serial numbers starting from Z-000001 to Z-043100 are being replaced with new ones without the usual fee as the numbers have been duplicated while printing them in India,” Indian Consul General Ausaf Sayeed told Arab News yesterday.

The serial numbers referred to were printed in India in 1995-96 and they are all of 60-page jumbo booklets, which were distributed globally to all diplomatic missions, he added.

“There is no need to panic about this. There is nothing alarming about it,” he said. “We have been contacting the passport holders of concerned serial numbers individually and a few of them have already got them replaced. Jumbo passports are opted for by only a few individuals and so the affected number of passports is not big,” he added. He did not give a number for the affected expatriates.

“All that such passport holders should do is visit the consulate here and the replacement will be done forthwith free of charge,” Sayeed said.

He also clarified that the passports concerned were not canceled, but it was better for the bearers of such passports to get them replaced to avoid any inconvenience in future. “Abundant precautions have been taken to see that travel plans of such passport holders are not affected. Visa endorsements on existing passports will remain valid,” he said.

A consulate official said those already in India with the affected passports should visit the nearest passport office and get new ones issued.

TERROR REASON?

Govt recalls 46,000 Z-series passports

Daniel P George | TNN


Chennai: Nearly 46,000 people across the country will have to surrender their passports and get them exchanged for new ones, as the government has recalled passports with serial numbers Z-000001 to Z-045925, most of them issued in Dubai.

“The government has issued instructions that all Indian passports with serial numbers Z-000001 to Z-045925 are to be recalled and new passports issued in their place,” a release said. Though the official announcement did not specify the reason for the recall, sources here say there could be chances of some of the passports issued in Dubai, falling into “wrong hands”. Holders of the ‘Z’ series of passports will now have to submit fresh applications. While those in Dubai can approach the Indian Consulate there, those in India can approach the regional passport office concerned.

Sources in the MEA’s passport and visa division in New Delhi, however, said that passports were being recalled not just from Dubai but from all over the world. They added that this was because of a technical error in these travel documents.

Sources in the Chennai International Airport said immigration officials have been asked to look out for the passport, especially with passengers from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) sources in Mumbai police said: ‘‘We and the immigration authorities at the Chatrapathi Shivaji International Airport have special instructions to keep a watch for passports of the ‘Z’ series. ’’

Dubai’s population increased from 1.130 million in 2005 to 1.422 million in 2006, with Indians adding to the growth. People from TN, who constitute about 20% of UAE population, are a worried lot as they could face problems while travelling.