The Indian Passports will contain phantom images of the passport holder as part of introducing enhanced security features to prevent fraud and misuse, M K Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, has confirmed. Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Lokesh said there will be two photographs of the passport holder as opposed to the one photograph currently appearing in these documents.
“We have introduced additional security features like an additional ghost image and double lamination. This is part of the enhanced security arrangements to prevent misuse and fraud related to passports,” Lokesh said. Passports with new security features have been issued from photographs, one ghost photograph with embedded details.
The ghost passports in the passport will make it more secure and tamper proof, he said. Along with the ghost photograph, the personal details of the passport holder will be embedded in the passport to make it difficult to duplicate or tamper with. Passport offices in India and the country’s overseas embassies and consulates have already started issuing the new passport, which has reduced number of pages and repositioning of some of the pages.
A phantom or watermark image is similar to Mahamta Gandhi’s watermarked image that can be seen on the Indian currencies, in INR500 and INR1,000 currency notes. In addition, the passport holder’s personal details have moved from the back cover to page two in the news passports.
Earlier, misuse and duplication of passport was reported from various places including the UAE, where fraudsters would remove the photograph, after keeping the passport in a freezer for sometimes. Once the passport is kept in the freezer, all the cellophane paper can be removed and the photographs can be easily removed and replaced with another person’s. Reports suggested that Dubai Police had arrested a number of fake Indian passports.
An earlier communication from the Ministry of External Affairs said personal details are shifted from the inner cover to page two of the passport. Other particulars of the passport holder are shifted from the first page to page 35.
The signature and seal of the passport issuing authority earlier on Page #1 is now on the overleaf of the front cover. Double laminations are a new security feature. All the existing passports will be replaced only on their expiry. Due to double lamination, the passport pages or ink will not disappear. In a passport with 36 pages, only 32 pages can be now used, instead of 34 pages used earlier.