3 people were arrested and three web cameras, one cooling pad, three laptops, three LCDs, a biometric machine, a finger-print scanner, 65 Aadhar cards, one PAN card, eight voter IDs, lamination machines and other equipment were confiscated during a raid in Pachchhaiya in Amroha. Acting on a tip off, Amroha police raided the shop where Aadhaar cards were being issued and arrested Kannan And Aslaan.

The duo were using a stamp of the fingerprints of one Mohammad Sakib who ran a public service centre. He was arrested as well and a case has been registered under sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 464 (Making a false document), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of IPC.”

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/-fake-aadhar-card-racket-busted-in-amroha/articleshow/64034684.cms

What Times of India appears to miss here, is that UIDAI now requires iris verification of Aadhaar operators as well, which means that if the arrested accused were able to issue Aadhaar cards from their set up, they were also using a cracked version of the Aadhaar Enrolment Software in a manner similar to the Kanpur Aadhaar Scam.

Also, the title is somewhat misleading, as the Aadhaars issued by this illegal set up would not be fake, but real.

Ironically, on the day before the arrest, UIDAI had issued a tweeted press statement claiming that it was not possible to bypass biometric verification for their enrolment software. So this probably sucks for UIDAI unless they can manage to keep it quiet.

What sucks for the arrested Mohammad Sakib whose fingerprints were used by the duo to issue the Aadhaar cards, is that just three days before this raid, Asia Times reported a far better cracked version of the Aadhaar Enrolment software that came preconfigured with valid operator credentials, and if the two had used that one, Mohammad Sakib wouldn’t have been arrested.

Please note here, the cards issued by the illegal set up would be indistinguishable from any other Aadhaar cards, and while they may have been acquired illegally, they are not fake Aadhaars, but real ones. Because such is UIDAI and their idea of security.

Vidyut is a commentator on socio-political issues with a keen understanding of tech and policy. She has been observing and commenting on Aadhaar since 2010 from a perspective of human rights, democracy and technological robustness.

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