Passports

Old Oct 11th 2004, 3:59 am
  #1  
nitram
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Default Passports

700 arrests 'tip of iceberg' of passport fraud
http://www.expatica.com/source/site_...story_id=12518

5 October 2004

AMSTERDAM � Hundreds of immigrants enter the Netherlands every month
illegally using a Dutch passport obtained from smuggling gangs, it was
reported Tuesday.

The illegal immigrants � mainly from African and Asia � adjust their
hairstyle and clothing to match the photo on the passport, newspaper
Algemeen Dagblad reported.

The Dutch passports are not forged and are instead used by people who
resemble the photos of the legal holders. It is claimed that the
passports are being supplied by Dutch nationals, especially people of
Somali and Nigerian origin.

The number of immigrants caught with someone else's passport has risen
sharply, with 700 people detained so far this year while trying to
take advantage of the scam. But the National Documents Bureau (NBD)
said the number
of people held was only the tip of the iceberg.

"Somalis, Nigerians and Chinese in particular use the method. It is a
difficult problem because a Dutch border guard will often find it
difficult to distinguish between the faces of Africans or Asians," NBD
official Nico van de Kerkhoff said.

The NBD suspects that many Dutch nationals of African or Asian origin
report a missing passport to their municipal council, but then sell
the original to human smugglers. The smuggling gangs supply the
passports to foreigners wishing to enter the Netherlands.

The number of reported missing passports has risen in recent years.
About 150,000 disappeared in both 2002 and 2003, some 50,000 more than
the years prior to those years.

One out of three people arrested at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam for
having a suspect Dutch passport was availing of the scam.

The Interior Ministry said the fraud is serious, particularly due to
the increasing terrorism. The use of biometric passports and iris
scans could significantly cut down on the problem, but it might take
up to three years before this system is completely implemented in the
Netherlands.
 
Old Oct 11th 2004, 7:22 am
  #2  
B Vaughan
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Default Re: Passports

On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 17:59:59 +0200, [email protected] wrote:

    >AMSTERDAM — Hundreds of immigrants enter the Netherlands every month
    >illegally using a Dutch passport obtained from smuggling gangs, it was
    >reported Tuesday.

[snip]

    >The Dutch passports are not forged and are instead used by people who
    >resemble the photos of the legal holders.

This reminds me of a ridiculous security loophole which is the fault
of the US government.

My husband's son teaches in an American university. Periodically, he
has to renew his US visa at a consulate in Italy. He takes the visa
application, along with his Italian passport, to the consulate and
they attach the visa to the passport and mail it back to him (at our
home in Italy.) The penultimate time he did this, the passport never
arrived, and eventually he had to report it missing and get a new one
issued, barely succeeding in time to get back to the US for the
September start of classes.

The consulate assured him that the passport had actually been mailed,
so it was probably stolen by someone who worked in the mail room
there, or by somebody in the post office. It's impossible to determine
where the loss occurred, because the consulate WILL NOT PERMIT use of
a courier, registered mail, or personal pickup. The only way to get
your passport back is to trust it to normal mail.

Somebody at the consulate told him that this sort of theft happens
fairly regularly. Obviously somebody knows that there are regular
mailings of passports and has seized the opportunity to pick up a real
prize for those who want to commit passport fraud. Just think how
valuable a passport of a 34-year-old Italian male would be to a
would-be terrorist.

This summer, he had to renew his visa again and the same stupid rule
is still in place.
-----------
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Oct 13th 2004, 7:38 am
  #3  
Jenn
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Default Re: Passports

B Vaughan wrote:

    > On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 17:59:59 +0200, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >
    >>AMSTERDAM — Hundreds of immigrants enter the Netherlands every month
    >>illegally using a Dutch passport obtained from smuggling gangs, it was
    >>reported Tuesday.
    >
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >
    >>The Dutch passports are not forged and are instead used by people who
    >>resemble the photos of the legal holders.
    >
    >
    > This reminds me of a ridiculous security loophole which is the fault
    > of the US government.
    >
    > My husband's son teaches in an American university. Periodically, he
    > has to renew his US visa at a consulate in Italy. He takes the visa
    > application, along with his Italian passport, to the consulate and
    > they attach the visa to the passport and mail it back to him (at our
    > home in Italy.) The penultimate time he did this, the passport never
    > arrived, and eventually he had to report it missing and get a new one
    > issued, barely succeeding in time to get back to the US for the
    > September start of classes.
    >
    > The consulate assured him that the passport had actually been mailed,
    > so it was probably stolen by someone who worked in the mail room
    > there, or by somebody in the post office. It's impossible to determine
    > where the loss occurred, because the consulate WILL NOT PERMIT use of
    > a courier, registered mail, or personal pickup. The only way to get
    > your passport back is to trust it to normal mail.
    >
    > Somebody at the consulate told him that this sort of theft happens
    > fairly regularly. Obviously somebody knows that there are regular
    > mailings of passports and has seized the opportunity to pick up a real
    > prize for those who want to commit passport fraud. Just think how
    > valuable a passport of a 34-year-old Italian male would be to a
    > would-be terrorist.
    >
    > This summer, he had to renew his visa again and the same stupid rule
    > is still in place.
    > -----------
    > Barbara Vaughan
    > My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
    > I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup

and the real fun begins now - since having had a stolen passport he is
likely to be on all sorts of border lists and be hassled repeatedly when
he travels. my son's former girlfriend was mugged and lost a passport
in Amsterdam a decade ago and travels frequently -- she is often pulled
aside for extensive questioning and searches because of her passport
stolen status
 
Old Oct 13th 2004, 8:05 am
  #4  
B Vaughan
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Default Re: Passports

On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 14:38:03 -0500, jenn <[email protected]> wrote:

    >B Vaughan wrote:

[story about stolen passport snipped]

    >and the real fun begins now - since having had a stolen passport he is
    >likely to be on all sorts of border lists and be hassled repeatedly when
    >he travels. my son's former girlfriend was mugged and lost a passport
    >in Amsterdam a decade ago and travels frequently -- she is often pulled
    >aside for extensive questioning and searches because of her passport
    >stolen status

His passport was lost more than a year ago, and so far he's had no
trouble. Maybe only people with lost or stolen American passports get
on that list? I hope he doesn't get hassled, because although it was
an Italian passport, it's the fault of the US government that it got
lost or stolen. He wanted to go to Rome to pick it up, but they
insisted that the passport could only be mailed, and only by regular
non-registered mail.
-----------
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Oct 13th 2004, 9:15 am
  #5  
Miguel Cruz
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Default Re: Passports

B Vaughan <[email protected]> wrote:
    > jenn <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> B Vaughan wrote:
    > [story about stolen passport snipped]
    >> and the real fun begins now - since having had a stolen passport he is
    >> likely to be on all sorts of border lists and be hassled repeatedly when
    >> he travels. my son's former girlfriend was mugged and lost a passport
    >> in Amsterdam a decade ago and travels frequently -- she is often pulled
    >> aside for extensive questioning and searches because of her passport
    >> stolen status
    > His passport was lost more than a year ago, and so far he's had no
    > trouble. Maybe only people with lost or stolen American passports get
    > on that list?

Does his replacement have a new passport number? Ideally the people who make
hassles over a stolen passport would confine their hassle-making to the
bearer of the passport with the old, stolen number.

miguel
--
Hit The Road! Photos from 32 countries on 5 continents: http://travel.u.nu
 

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