Sharjah: Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are investigating a case of a passport control official who allegedly held back an Indian man's passport because he did not like the latter’s moustache.
Sujeev Kumar, a software engineer from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, arrived at Sharjah International Airport last Friday.
He said that the passport control officer told him he would return the passport if he shaved off his moustache, the Gulf News reported.
Abdullah Bin Sahoo, director-general of Sharjah Department of Naturalisation and Foreign Affairs, said CCTV images would be studied to check whether the passenger’s allegations were correct and action would then be taken.
Kumar claimed that the officer stamped his passport but did not return it.
“After stamping my passport, he kept looking at me and the picture in the passport. He asked me how I keep my moustache brushed and laughed,” Kumar was quoted as saying.
Kumar said he did not understand the comments as the officer, who was an Arab, was speaking in Urdu.
“He finally told me: ‘If you agree to shave off your moustache, I will let you go’ and kept my passport with him,” said Kumar.
Taking even that as a joke, Kumar again asked for his passport but was surprised when he was ignored.
“I started arguing with him and only after asking to speak to his superior officer he returned my passport and allowed me to proceed,” he said.