Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Please help. Anyone got good wasta ???

This wednesday, 24 May 2006, my wife and had I gone down for a walk. It was around 8.40 pm and we were just below our building when a couple of guys in a white Nissan Altima (looked like a 94 model) slowed near us and the guy in the passanger seat grabbed my wife's bag and they sped away.

The bag contained our passports, original visas and original marriage certificates.

We immediately went to the cops and filed a report and also gave them the number of the car that one of the guys standing nearby was able to see. I could not get the number since there was no number plate on the rear of the car.

Thankfully, some guy found my wife's passport on the road this Monday and he returned it to us. It had the medical paper attached to it since we had it done just last week. Through that he was able to identify the name of our company and he called up and returned the passport. My passport is still not found.

The company has been really lax and my wife complained to my boss about it. The HR and Admin got a real scolding for this and are now playing hard nose with us because their ass was kicked. In general we are still pissed with the HR since it has been seven months since we have been working, but it was only this month that they started the procedure for our visas.

Our mandoob says that it will take ten days to get a letter from the immigration office that will state that we have lost our visa. From what the cops and other sources told us, this should take not more than one day.

We need this paper from the immigration office since without it I will not be able to apply for a new passport.
We are going to the immigration office tomorrow to get this letter.

That is not where it ends. The embassy will issue a passport only after doing verification. Since my passport was issued in Bombay, that might take atleast one and a half month. My visa is only till 13th June 2006.

In cases of emergency, the embassy issues a temporary passport with a validity of one year within three working days. But for that, the case has to be forwarded by a senior ranking official of the Indian embassy. Now we do not know any one in the Indian embassy who would do that for us. The officials are very choosy about this and we want to present the case to an official who we are sure will approve for the temporary passport.

If anyone has any wasta with a high rankning official in the Indian embassy (even with the ambassador while I am at it), please let me know how to get in touch with you.

As a victim, I would like to caution all of you that whenever you are walking on the road, make sure your bag is not held on the outside towards the road, but on the shoulder that points towards the footpath. At all times, walk on the footpath if possible. If you see anybody stopping in a car, just move away quickly and get on the footpath. Do not stop to give instructions to cars. And lastly, if you think you are being followed or if you suspect anythinig fishy, get inside a shop or a crowded place and call up your relative and friend and ask them to come and pick you up.

4 Comments:

  • Wow… I can only imagine how trialing this has been and will be. I hope it goes smoother than you’d think possible. I’m sorry I do not have wasta in Kuwait.

    At the same time, I’m curious as to why your wife would have so many important documents in her handbag?! I know it’s something I’ve always been warned and cautioned about, because I have a habit of keeping my passport in mine. But then, that’s a compulsive need I’ve had for a while now, personally.

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at 7:23 pm  

  • The documents ended there because we had to take them to office in the morning. They wanted to photocopy them since we had just finished our medical.

    Thanks to the grace of God, things have so far gone smoothly. Today we even went to the immigration office where they entered my old passport number and black listed it. They will be issuing a paper this wednesday, with which I can approach the Indiain embassy to get a new passport.

    Still searching for wasta in the embassy. Got one lead as of now though.

    Waiting till wednesday!

    My advise after this incident is that you should keep your passport and original visa in a very safe place. Just keep the civil id issued by the country with you, along with driver's lisence. Because it is easy to get a new civil id and lisence, but getting a passport requires a lot of formalities. Also keep your visiting card in your passport, so in case it is lost/stolen, and then recovered, it might be easier for the finder to return it.

    Thanks

    By Blogger Riddle Of The Sand, at 1:52 pm  

  • :) That's a thought.. putting a visiting card inside my passport... Imma do that.

    I actually have paranoia about being without it. Years back the Embassy told me I MUST keep it on me for social security reasons; even sent a letter to my company forcing them to release it. The paranoia started then, I guess.

    Hope things continue to go smoothly for you.

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at 10:19 am  

  • Things have been smooth till now. But for the time being all I can do is wait till Wednesday, when I have to go to the immigration department and collect the document required at the embassy.

    Keep a visiting card, but make sure it is one that gives your office address and office number, and not your personal address or number.

    My wife's bag also contained our house keys. That is why we changed our lock immediately. You never know what the crooks might cook up in their heads.

    Even when someone calls you and informs you that the passport is found and you can collect it, request the person to either meet you in your office or a public place.

    If he/she insists on somewhere else, go there with a cop or with a big jingbang.

    My company also emphasises that the original passport must be carried and crap. But the cops do let you go it you have a photocopy only - depends on their mood.

    But as I said, once the civil ID is issued, no need to carry the passport. The civil ID is sufficient identification and residence proof.

    By Blogger Riddle Of The Sand, at 10:47 am  

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