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Passport officer in Malappuram under CBI scanner

Passport officer in Malappuram under CBI scanner

Thiruvananthapuram: The CBI has initiated a probe against K Abdul Rasheed, Regional Passport Officer of Malappuram in Kerala, for alleged irregularities in issuing passports.

CBI sources said steps had been taken to freeze Rasheed's bank accounts as a prelude to the probe against him in the irregularities in issue of passports, which allegedly aided illegal human trafficking from the area.

The agency would also find out the circumstances under which Rasheed, a Deputy Superintendent in Kerala Police, was posted as the passport officer.

The CBI team had conducted searches at the office and residence of Rasheed last week and seized some documents and Rs 2.5 lakh in cash.

The searches were also held in the wake of allegations that Rasheed got illegal gratification from passport applicants and agents to process applications without adhering to mandatory procedures.

A total 137 passport cases have been registered so far, sources said.

Rasheed was appointed as Regional Passport Officer after the UDF government came to power.

CPI-M veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan recently alleged irregularities in appointment of Rasheed as passport officer, who had about 10 years back served as gunman of Industries Minister and IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty, before getting promoted to higher ranks in the police.

Achuthanandan had sought a probe into the charge of irregularities in issuing passport from the Malappuram Regional Passport Office and alleged that Rasheed had suspected links with human trafficking.

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