Home > Idenity Validation, International Background Checks > Fake passport syndicates’ days are numbered –DFA

Fake passport syndicates’ days are numbered –DFA


by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan, Philippine Information Agency

QUEZON CITY, July 20 (PIA) — Bogus passport syndicates’ days are numbered, an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday as the agency integrated “hi-tech” features on its ePassport or electronic
passport.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos warned that, fake or tampered passports are the ones usually used by syndicates involved in illegal activities like human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

The official said the microchip technology embedded in the passport has allowed airport security personnel to immediately and accurately verify the authenticity of the passport holder’s data.

“The ePassport is currently of the highest level of quality similar to those being issued by other countries,” Conejos said during the “Pilipinas Natin” show that features the different government clusters of the Aquino government.

The same chip technology, Conejos said, which allows the information stored in an ePassport to be read by special chip readers at a close distance, also contains the biometrics of the passport holder, the unique chip identification number, a picture, and a digital signature.

The ePassport uses biometrics or biometric identifiers that include face recognition, fingerprints, and iris scans which are difficult to forge, he said.While its digital signature technology is used to verify the authenticity of the data stored on the chip, he added. This technology is commonly used in credit cards and other security documents using integrated circuits or chips.

The new passport, he said, also follows the international standards implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which makes the country compliant to its regulations.

Aside from curbing opportunities for fraud, the ePassport, likewise, helps hasten the entry formalities of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and travelers, he said. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

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  1. August 8, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Update to story: Bureau of Immigration bares gang selling fake passports to foreigners

    The Philippine Star Updated August 08, 2011

    MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday it believes it has uncovered a big-time syndicate whose members make and sell fake Philippine passports to foreign nationals in the country following the recent arrest of one of its members by immigration agents.

    BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the syndicate was discovered after one of its Chinese victims was recently arrested by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

    David said the passenger, Wang Jiandong, was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 3 last July 21 when he tried to leave for Hong Kong.

    Wang, who used the name Tony Sia Ong, admitted that he is a Chinese citizen and that he obtained his Philippine passport from a countryman in Hong Kong. “It was Wang’s fellow Chinese who facilitated the processing of victim’s spurious travel documents for $6,000,” David said in a statement.

    Wang said he already made a down payment of $4,000 and he was supposed to pay the balance of $2,000 in Hong Kong if he managed to leave the country using the passport.

    “Wang’s confession that he is fake Filipino led to the arrest of a Chinese suspect named Ching Sum Yip in an entrapment operation by BI intelligence agents at (a hotel) in Pasay City,” David said.

    He directed BI Intelligence chief Maria Antonette Bucasas-Mangrobang to determine the extent of the syndicate’s operations in the country.

    Mangrobang said that based on initial investigation, the syndicate’s victims are mostly Chinese and its members operate in the Philippines, Hong Kong and China. She added that the victims are enticed to secure fake Philippine passports as this will enable them to enter and exit the country any time and evade payment of immigration fees while staying in the country. – Helen Flores, Rudy Santos

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