Looking at the gray-haired, frail looking man in the picture below, you’d never guess he was only 32. Well, don’t worry about it, his disguise managed to fool security at Delhi airport as well, and they’re paid to spot these things.
32-year-old Jayesh Patel was arrested at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport by India’s Central Industrial Security Force for attempting to board an airplane bound for the United States while wearing a disguise meant to make him look much older than his years. Wearing a white tunic, turban and pants, and faking disability by being pushed around in a wheelchair, the man managed to get past the airport’s initial security checks and even got his immigration cleared. His white beard and thick glasses seemed to match the age in his fake passport, 81, but his makeup artist neglected one crucial detail – the lack of wrinkles on his face.
“A man named Jayesh Patel reached Terminal-3 of IGI (Indira Gandhi International Airport) airport on Sunday on a wheelchair posing as an elderly man. He even tricked the initial security check and got his immigration cleared,” a spokesperson of the Central Industrial Security Force said. “CISF was suspicious about him as his voice didn’t match his age. Despite grey hair, his skin seemed to be quite young as there were hardly any wrinkles on his face.”
The frail 81-year-old man was asked to stand by airport security officers, but claimed he couldn’t do so. Still, they asked if he could get up with someone’s help, and he reluctantly stood up. That’s when the screener noticed his smooth face and that the roots of his white beard were actually black. Plus, the suspicious man was trying very hard to avoid meeting the officer’s eyes.
At first, the man claimed to be Amrick Singh, born in Delhi in February 1938, and even produced a passport as proof, but upon further questioning, he told security staff that he was in fact Jayesh Patel, a 32-year-old man from Gujarat who wanted to reach the United States and start a new life there.
After being turned over to police, Patel said that he didn’t qualify for a visa, so he hired an agent to help him get the fake documents required to bypass airport security. The agent allegedly put the 32-year-old in contact with a Delhi-based aide who took him to a hotel room where his disguise was meticulously created. A makeup artist was brought in to turn him into a believable 81-year-old, and he was even taught to move like an elderly person.
“His beard was grown and hair was dyed grey. He was made to wear a pair of thick glasses and a turban. He was also instructed to walk like an elderly person,” officer Sanjay Bhatia told NDTV. “We’ve never seen a similar case at the Delhi airport before.”
Sadly for Patel, he won’t be reaching the U.S. anytime soon. However, his agent, his aide and the makeup artist who set up the whole plan are yet to be brought to justice.