For issuing a passport, most of the people in Kishoreganj have to face brokers and often deceived by them. Almost all the office space in Passport office is now occupied by middlemen. The simple-minded people who come from the villages are constantly being deceived by them. Although some brokers were caught in a surprise operation by the law enforcement agencies, they are again focusing on the same thing by getting out. The number of people who are not in the grip of brokers is also negligible. Every day, there is a traffic jam of brokers in every office which is directly connected with the people.
Meanwhile, Kishoreganj Regional Passport Office has introduced a new method to prevent fraud. If someone admits of bring deceived, please contact directly, a banner will be visible as soon as you enter the main gate of the passport office- the passport officials are placing this moto. The banner says “If you are a victim of any passport related harassment, please contact Assistant Director Room No. 201. My door is always open for your service & Anisur Rahman, Assistant Director.”
According to sources one can apply for a passport through online from each Union Digital Center for Tk 80 to Tk 100. But the number of people going there for passports is not very noticeable.
Since the introduction of e-passport on January 22 last year, about 55,000 passports have been issued at the regional passport office in Kishoreganj instead of applying for about 65,000 passports. About 10,000 passport applications have not been issued due to confidential information, negative police verification reports, various amendments which are in process.
The less educated people who come to get passports through brokers are being deceived on another important point. For example, the fixed price of an e-passport of 48 pages issued in 21 days for a tenure of five years is Tk 4025 and Tk 5750 for a period of 10 years. On the other hand, bookers took Tk 6325 for a 64-page e-passport issued in 21 days for a tenure of five years and 10 years is Tk 8050.
Although the brokers took money for 64 pages for a period of 10 years, but instead they deliver 48 pages passport for a tenure of 5 years.
Kishoreganj Regional Passport Office Assistant Director Anisur Rahman said, “To warn the passport holders from the brokers, we have placed a warning banner inside the main gate so that any problem can be reported to my room or on the phone. If informed, we will take legal action.”