Passports being forged despite hi-tech security features

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 05 Apr 2009

PENGKALAN KUBUR: The Immigration Department has not ruled out the possibility that the forgery of Malaysian international passports was serious despite the 35 security features embedded in the chip-enabled document.

Immigration director-general Datuk Mahmood Adam said that in the first quarter of this year, at least five cases of forgery had been detected -- three in the Klang Valley, and one each in Penang and Terengganu.

In almost all the cases the department was able to detect the forgery as the suspects involved were only able to duplicate the surface of the passport and not its security seals.

“We are monitoring the cases and trends to get to the bottom of the matter because Malaysian international passports are very popular among syndicates within the Asian region,” he told reporters after meeting Kelantan, Perak, Kedah and Perlis Immigration directors here Sunday.

The meeting discussed issues like illegal immigrants and border problems.

To a question, Mahmood said his department would investigate whether any of its personnel were involved in passport forgery and, if so, stern action would be taken.

“We will investigate such allegations to the hilt, but so far, based on the latest five cases, none of my men were involved,” he said.

He said that one of the main reasons that Malaysian passports were popular was because the country was a multi-ethnic. Also, inserting pictures into forged passports was easy.

Mahmood said that Immigration was also cooperating with other government departments since forgery also involved visas, or seamen books used by fishermen to catch fish within Malaysian waters.

He warned that those caught forging any of these documents could be arrested under the Internal security Act, Official Secrets Act or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act.

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