Age is just a number. But to some, it’s a ticket out of a country.
On September 8, Jayesh Patel, a 32-year-old man from Ahmedabad, tried to board a flight to New York from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The kicker? He used a fake passport, dyed his hair white and declared his age as 81 years old.
According to India TV News, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) caught Patel for impersonating an older man with a fake passport and older appearance. The passport had the name of Amrik Singh, shown to be born in February 1938.
In a CISF press release posted on September 9, Patel allegedly refused to go through security formalities, stating he couldn’t stand because he was too old. He was using a wheelchair.
“He posed as if he was very old and incapacitated,” Shrikant Kishore, a senior CISF official, told CNN. “Our screener asked the person in the wheelchair to stand. He said he cannot stand. Our screener asked if he would stand with support. He reluctantly stood up.”
Upon further interaction, CISF officers thought something was wrong because Patel avoided all eye contact. His roots were also black, though his hair was white.
Eventually, his original identity was revealed.
“He was definitely not 80 years old,” said Kishore. “His skin was of a younger person.”
After he was caught, Patel was handed over to immigration authorities. A further probe is underway.
According to Newsweek, Patel was going to the United States for a job but couldn’t acquire a visa. An agent named Bharat told Patel that he could arrange for the latter to reach New York for Rs 30 lakh or about $42,000. The agent, along with his assistant and make-up artist, then helped Patel look like an 81-year-old. They have not yet been arrested.