A 32-year-old Indian man's elaborate attempt to enter the United States by posing as a man in his 80s was thwarted after his youthful voice and wrinkle-free skin raised the suspicions of airport staff.
Jayesh Patel, from Gujarati, was heading to New York on September 9 when security officers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport caught him pretending to be a senior citizen by the name of Amrik Singh, local media reported.
Patel sported a white turban, black-rimmed glasses, and had his beard dyed grey to play the part. He also used a wheelchair.
Police on Sunday also arrested a make-up artist, Shamsher Singh, for his role in the scheme. Cosmetics and products used for dyeing hair grey were found at his shop, India Today reported.
Patel was able to clear a first security check and immigration, but admitted his true identity after undergoing detailed checks, police said.
"The appearance and skin texture of the passenger seemed to be much younger than mentioned in the passport. The man was wearing zero-power glasses to conceal his age," a policeman told NDTV. "He was later handed over to immigration officials on charges of impersonation and further probe."
Patel told police he carried out the ruse because he had difficulty obtaining a US work visa and believed he could improve his chances under a new identity.
He paid an agent to get him fake documents, including a fake name and birthday. The agent also connected him to the make-up artist, The Indian Express reported.
Patel was to pay the agent nearly US$42,000 once he reached New York. The agent, who reportedly helped as many as 10 others to fake their identities, is at large.
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