Delhi: Billu Barber, makeup artist who helped 32-yr-old look like man in his 80s, held

Jignasa Sinha
Makeup artist Shamsher Singh has a salon in Patel Nagar

A makeup artist who runs a salon in Patel Nagar, and goes by the moniker Billu Barber , was arrested for allegedly helping a 32-year-old man pose as an octogenarian so he could get past immigration at Indira Gandhi International Airport on September 8.

Police said the makeup artist, Shamsher Singh (42), gave a drastic makeover to Jayesh Patel to make him look like an 81 year old so he could travel to the US on a fake passport. Patel was arrested after he was caught by CISF security personnel.

During initial questioning, Patel said a makeup artist had come to his hotel in Paharganj. We searched several hotels but couldn t find the other accused. A Special Investigation Team was formed which found that Patel was taken to a hotel in Karol Bagh, where he stayed for three days. The team also scanned his call detail records. We finally traced the makeup artist and arrested him from his Rohini residence on Sunday, said DCP (Airport) Sanjay Bhatia.

During investigation, police found that Patel was offered help by a gang, led by one Ashok Kumar, who is absconding.

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Singh, who has been running the salon for more than 20 years, came in contact with one of Kumar s associates four months ago. They paid him Rs 20,000 and asked him to change the appearance of a man. Since then, Singh had been working with them… He would go to hotels, where the men would call their client for the makeover. Singh charged Rs 20,000 for each client, said a senior officer.

We raided the salon and found grey wigs and other makeup accessories. In Patel s case, he used dye to colour his hair and beard, as well as other cosmetics to make him look considerably older. He has also helped at least 10 other people, including two women, to change their appearance and conceal their age or gender. We are looking at his clients to verify if they were involved in criminal cases, said Bhatia.

Patel told police that he had met two agents one in Ahmedabad and another in Delhi. The agents told Patel they could help him get a fake passport so he could work in the US. They told him he would have to look older, and took him to Singh s salon. They prepared a fake rent agreement and PAN card. Using Photoshop, they forged his Aadhaar card before arranging a fake passport. They then dropped Patel in a wheelchair near the airport on September 8, said an officer.

Makeup artist Shamsher Singh has been running the salon for more than 20 years,

Police said Patel managed to cross the initial security check as well as immigration clearance at the airport, but was caught by a CISF officer during security check.

Though Patel had dyed his hair, the CISF officer grew suspicious as his skin didn t look like that of an older man and his voice did not match his age. The officer also realised his hands didn t look like that of an older man either. Patel was then taken into police custody, said Bhatia.