An Indian who was the victim of a fake attestation racket has cautioned people to get their attestation done through reliable sources.

T.R. Srinivas, who works as the Middle East Manager of, was summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi. "It came as a shock when the officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed me that the seal and stamp of the UAE consulate in Mumbai was fake. I had no idea what was happening.

"I tried my level best to clarify that my degree certificate was genuine, but then again I was not able to get my point across since it was proved that the stamp and seal were fake.

"I immediately got in touch with the Indian Embassy who were quite supportive. They asked me to get an authenticity certificate from Gujarat Agriculture University, where I did my degree.

"The university faxed the Indian embassy stating that my degree was genuine. I was handed a certificate that the authentication was completed and that my degree was genuine.

"I had got full support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Embassy in sorting out the matter. Yet, my passport copy was taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I was asked not to leave the country. I had to call people in India.

"After thorough investigation it was revealed that the agents in Mumbai were frauds and were making a lucrative business out of attesting documents using fake stamps and seals.

"With the help of the police in Mumbai, the agents were arrested and their license cancelled. Those who want to get their documents attested should do so via friends and relatives back home, and not fall victim to unscrupulous agents."

Although such instances are very rare, an Indian Embassy official from Abu Dhabi said: "As an embassy we never recommend that people give their documents for attestation to agents.

We advise the applicant to come to us to arrange the attestation through reliable sources. "Moreover, no agents deal with the embassy. The embassy as a standard procedure insists the applicant comes with the papers.

"At times people do get a bit frustrated when we give them a list of attestations that are needed to be carried out by them on their documents prior to submitting them for further processing.

But we would like to point out to applicants that there are a set of procedures that need to be carried out by the UAE as well as the Indian government. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the procedures are carried out through proper channels."