|My International Crime.. |
(A True Story)
TRIP TO INDO-CHINA
Date: 1 Nov 2007
Venue: Phnom Penh Cambodia, Immigration
Check Time/; Lunch followed by a Large Pint of Beer
While at Cambodian airport @ Phnom Penh..... We had to fly to Laos then to Vietnam (Hanoi) from Vietnam airlines. I gave Guru's (my MBA friend) and my passport for verification to collect our boarding passes at the ticket counter at the start of the Phnom International Airport. ... We checked in our baggage and got our boarding passes. Now by mistake I put my boarding pass in Guru's passport holder and vice versa... There was still more than an hour at the airport to kill, which prompted us to go for a mug of beer...
I had one Guinness dry stout and Guru had Angkor beer large mugs. We enjoyed each crispy sip. And while doing so we were discussing the crime scene and the immigration incidence of Cambodia, whatever we'd read in novels and blogs à about the lands of Guns, Ganja and Girls.
This Country is also called as land of Land-mines....PHEW!!!!
We finished our beers and went for immigration check, but then before we could do it, we realized that we needed to pay airport tax of 25 $.
I took both the passports and paid the taxes, carrying both the passport with me. We took the escalator and reached immigration on first floor. We stood in two separate parallel lines where I gave my passport to Guru by just seeing his name on the boarding pass and took his passport (This replacement was done by the ticketing office @ the airport tax counter) and gave to the immigration officer who looked like a stone faced scavenger to me. Without looking over the passport... Guru also gave the passport to his lady immigration officer. This whole thing was done within few seconds.
So in short: I had my boarding pass, but Guru's Passport and similarly Guru was holding mine Passport but his own boarding pass.
My immigration officer took 15 minutes, followed by a long queue. He was looking at every page and checking every detail of the passport. Guru pic on the passport was smiling one and his long slender face. He looked at me as he would rape me. I was amused why is he doing like this and showed me the extra confidence, power with some fake smile after all, at that point I was not knowing that the passport which I gave was not mine.
I kept munching my chewing gum, which we took to fake the smell of beer... this guy brought a camera to take my photo twice and told me to smile so that he can take pictures. I let him. (What else was the option?) He tried to match the pics taken and one on the passport; However Guru passport had a valid US visa so he must have finally thought that when US can allow this guy; he must be genuine and may be his face has changed for whatever reasons with them. Finally, also because the crowd was gathering behind me as queue HE STAMPED Guru's passport "departed from Cambodia" and gave it to me :)
Guru immigration officer was a lady and he is a kind of playboy. He started smiling and winking and started doing all of his usual stuff, but was unaware of the fact that the lady was looking and matching his smile with that of mine.. (which can't be remade.. As I have got the copyright... jokes apart.)
Well, after those matching and fake smiles she said to Guru to pass 5$ and she will let him go. Now guru thought what the hell is this? à “why should I pay you?"
And by chance he showed some confidence.
That lady showed some more... She called another officer for verification. That officer was puzzled, but because my passport was almost full with Visa stamps and so hotchpotch that it almost looked genuine to them. Finally SHE STAMPED my passport"departed from Cambodia" and handed it over to the Guru.
Guru already had cleared just a minute before and he was finished with a security check. My habit is to check the stamps always after the immigration and my Vietnam and Cambodia Visa was at the last pages of my passport. So I opened the last page and saw blank and I was shocked as I realized all the drama.. Fear then ran through my bones to somewhere. I was so shocked white. I opened the passport ------SHIT it was Guru's.
and Guru was already done with the immigration. I shouted at Guru who was telling me to come fast. I shouted back" check your passport photo" in Hindi....
He checked and then he fainted and I could see his blood disappearing from his face from such a distance. Stricken drop dead.....
I cleared the security check and sat on the corner seat along with Guru. We said nothing for a few minutes and then we told our stories and laughed, but prayed, let’s get out of here soon......
We were not able to laugh until we cleared the (Right) immigration check-in at The Hanoi International airport (Vietnam).
what a crime and criminals!!!!
Can you believe we both got through the immigration with different passports
I am attaching mine and guru pics so that you guys can play the role
of those dumb ass Cambodian immigration officers.