Abu Dhabi: Indian diplomatic missions in the UAE have started issuing passports with new security features that prevent tampering and counterfeiting of passports, a top diplomat told Gulf News yesterday.
“We first started issuing the Indian visa with new security features; it has a phantom picture of the holder, apart from original photograph and personal details in tiny fonts that can be read only by a magnifying glass,” M.K. Lokesh, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said.
The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai started issuing the passports with new features two days ago, he said.
The new passports also have the phantom picture of the holder along with original photograph, Lokesh said.
The personal details like name, address, date of birth and passport number are embedded in the phantom image, he said.
The envoy said the existing passports will be replaced by the new version upon their expiry only.
Several other changes have also come up in the new version. Double laminations have enhanced its security. The signature and seal of the passport issuing authority, which were on page one, now have moved to the overleaf of the front cover. The personal details which were earlier on inner cover now have shifted to page two and other particulars of the passport holder from the first page to page 35.
All these changes were made to improve the quality and security features, the envoy explained.
The passports offices in India started issuing the new version last month.
Indian media reports, quoting an Indian intelligence official served in the diplomatic missions in the Gulf, said fraudsters would keep a passport in freezer for about five minutes, remove the cellophane paper and replace the photograph of the original passport holder with that of the person intending to travel. As Gulf News reported Questioned Documents Section at the General Department of Forensic Sciences of Dubai Police have dealt with several cases involving alleged fake or tampered Indian passports.