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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Iranians tried to use fake Israeli passports to emigrate to Canada

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Seven Iranians have been arrested in Canada for trying to use faked Israeli passports to enter the country.
The family – either a couple or siblings, and five children – were arrested at the Vancouver International Airport. The Iranian family used the name "Solomons", while pretending to be an Israeli family supposedly residing in Rehovot
The family includes the mother, Mona Solomons, 48, the father or sibling Tomer, 40, and the children Nadine, 15, Narin, 11, Binyamin, 9, Marin, 6, and Nermin, 5.

All seven suspects came to Canada through a third country and not through Tehran. Once the immigration authority in Vancouver began suspecting the family, they sent their passports and information to the Israeli Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA).

A quick review revealed that the passports in the family's possession were either stolen or lost in the past to real Israeli citizens, and fabricated in accordance to the clients' details.

In the past, criminal agents in Iran made use of Israeli passport and were caught as individuals in different places in the world. This is the first time an extensive fraud of Israeli passports is made for an entire family. According to estimates, the Iranian citizens wished to immigrate to Canada using their Israeli passports, since Israelis are not required to have permits for entry, while Iranians cannot enter Canadian borders without visas.  
The article goes on to describe how easy Israeli passports are to forge, and concludes that the seven Iranians will likely seek and may be granted political asylum. Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, if you are a dual citizen, the Israeli authorities seem more concerned with getting your foreign passport on the record  than they are about improving the counterfeitability of Israeli passports.

When I came back to Israel in May, the Israeli airport authorities asked for my US passport for the second time in recent years.

There are two possible explanations for this - neither of which is particularly reassuring. One is that they want to use it the next time they need passports for the Mossad. The other is that they want to get your foreign passport on file so that you cannot use it to leave the country in the event that the authorities issue an order barring you from leaving the country. In Israel, you don't have to be a criminal to be barred from leaving the country. Owing money to someone is often more than enough.

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