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Jha Washington: An Indian-American sex offender has been arrested at an airport in the US while trying to flee the country on the passport of his friend, officials here have said. Duraikandan Murugan, 41, the subject of a pending criminal case in New Jersey related to attempted sexual assault of a minor, was arrested at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Monday during a routine enforcement interviews of passengers departing the US, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said on Wednesday.

Murugan, who presented an Indian passport and boarding pass issued to Elvis Dias, was selected for an interview. During the interview, the passenger’s wallet and carry-on luggage were searched, which yielded several documents issued to Murugan. Mobile biometric verification was conducted, which revealed a pending criminal case against him related to attempted sexual assault of a minor.

During questioning, Murugan “freely admitted” he was Duraikandan Murugan, and stated he had taken the passport of his friend Dias to leave the United States to see his ailing father, the CBP said in a statement. Murugan was held by CBP in Chicago on suspected violations of US immigration law. Additionally, the CBP contacted the State of New Jersey, Somerset County Prosecutors Office to advise them of Murugan’s detention in Chicago.

State authorities in New Jersey issued an arrest warrant for Murugan for using a passport belonging to another to board an international flight. Murugan was turned over to the Chicago Police who will coordinate extradition back to New Jersey, the statement said. “We work closely with state, local and federal law enforcement partners to identify individuals that are fugitives from the law and bring them to justice,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago.

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