Thousands of UK passports fraudently obtained

Check out the Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,2038442,00.html – 10,000 British passports were apparantly issued to fraudent applications…

“The most senior al-Qaida terrorist ever captured in Britain received two of the estimated 10,000 British passports issued to fraudulent applicants in the space of a year,” the Guardian tells us.

“Dhiren Barot – who was jailed for life last November and will not be considered for parole for at least 40 years – was one of two convicted terrorists to be issued with a passport, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) said. Details of the application by Barot, who a judge said had plotting carnage on a “colossal and unprecedented scale”, came as the IPS said first-time adult passport applicants will undergo face-to-face interviews. It was also revealed that a second man, Moroccan national Salaheddine Benyaich – currently serving 18 years in Morocco for terrorist offences – had two British passports in the name of a British citizen born in Brighton. The IPS said a face-to-face interview would have stopped his application.”

Now, obviously, fraudently-issued passports are a valuable tool for both terrorists and more regular organized criminals.  People who have been banned from travelling on their own papers can circumvent these problems by presenting themselves as someone else.

I’m not persuaded that these “face-to-face interviews will really solve the issue.  If your terrorist or other organized crime figure is planning to get out of the country by using someone else’s passport, it’s reasonable to assume that the crook will have acquainted himself with the relevant information required to pass himself off as the person whose papers he is intending to use.  The interviewer will ask questions; the criminal will provide correct answers, which he will have gleaned when buying up the “right” to use the third party’s identification – and he will get through the process easily.  That’s how it seems to me, anyway.  If you can see how this recent clamp-down on the procedures will actually stop the problem, please get in touch and tell me how the fraudulent applicant will be caught.

Cos the way I see it – there are a lot of moody documents out there, used by terrorists, drug traffickers, illegal immigrants… all sorts of people who want to get into the EU relatively trouble-free.  And our as-always hopeless politicos don’t seem to know how to stop it.  The law’s an ass, the legislators are ass-heads… what a fucking fiasco!

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