A young man impersonating an 81-year-old was caught as he tried to board a plane to the United States.
Jay Patel, 32, wore an elaborate disguise that included a white tunic, a turban, a fake white beard, and a wheelchair as he attempted to fly to New York from India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday.
Using a fake passport that identified him as 81-year-old Amrik Singh, Patel successfully cleared both an initial security screening and the immigration counter on Sunday before security stopped him for questioning at terminal 3.
A spokesman for India Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said: ‘(We were) suspicious about him because his voice didn’t match his age.’
‘Despite (his) gray hair, his skin seemed to be quite young, as there were hardly any wrinkles on his face.’
Security was also suspicious when Patel avoided making eye contact with officers and refused to get up from his chair.
‘He posed as if he was very old and incapacitated,’ Shrikant Kishore, a senior official with CISF told CNN.
Security also noticed that, although his hair was white, his roots were black. Officers put him through a more intensive security screening and discovered his true identity after Patel handed over his passport which listed him as being born in February 1939.
Kishore said: ‘He was definitely not 80 years old. His skin was of a younger person.’
According to Newsweek, Patel then reportedly confessed his scheme to officials, telling them he got a job in the US, but was unable to get a visa.
He said a man named Bharat told him he could get him into America for 30 lakh, approximately $42,000, to be paid once he arrived in New York.
Bharat reportedly connected Patel with an agent who introduced Patel to a makeup artist before his flight.
Patel was placed in the custody of immigration officials. Authorities are still looking for Bharat and the makeup artist.