LAHORE The passport offices in the City have become safe havens for the agents/or application writers who roam freely outside these offices and mint money from the innocent clients, a TheNation survey has revealed. The connivance of the office staff in the matter was also observed and the agent mafia on both the premises have penetrated into the passport offices system, looting the passport seekers unchecked, according to the survey. A junior officer at the Garden Town office, seeking anonymity, revealed: Even the agents operating from outside the Abbot Road passport office contact people in this office to get the illegal job done. He said the agents help the applicants in getting their passports prepared and for this work they charge Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000; another Rs 1,000 for the issuance of an out-of-turn token; and, Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 for the delivery of a passport. He further said: Whenever an applicant visits this office to receive his/her passport on the due date they are told by the counter clerk to wait for some more days. Once out of the office, an agent manages the same for the dejected clients. For this the agent receives his 'fee. Then he pays over 50 per cent of the 'fee to the clerk concerned. A source told this scribe: For the out-of-turn token, the agents use two types of tactics: 1) they make their own members stand in the queue early in the morning and whenever an applicant contacts them they charge them and replace their member(s) with the applicant(s); and, 2) they also get the token issued through the window clerk after payment of his share. There are many other areas wherein the agent mafia gets heavy amounts for issuing dual passport to an applicant (passport on fake CNIC), he further revealed. Another applicant, Asif (single name), said: People usually stand in long queues, but the agents facilitate only those who pay. My son was not given the passport on due date, but after he paid Rs 1,000 to an agent, he managed the same on that very day. There should be a transparent way of delivery and passports should be displayed outside the offices on daily basis so that the agents could not extort money, another applicant suggested. When this scribe contacted an agent sitting outside the Abbot Road passport office, pretending to be a client from Jhang wanting a passport prepared in Lahore, he said: It is possible but it will cost you Rs 6,000 besides the real charges. For the queue-free passport, you have to pay Rs 1,000 more. When this scribe contacted Assistant Director M Iqbal Shahid, he said confidently: Ask the agent where from he would get the passport prepared? On this the agent replied: I will get it prepared from the Garden Town office. The Garden Town passport office Assistant Director Mubashar Tirmizi did not attend repeated phone calls for his version.