January 12, 2017 — Forgery of visas and passports to allow travellers access to Canada is a lucrative business in northern India.
The majority of forgery cases uncovered at Delhi Airport relate to passengers using fake visas or passports to try and get into Canada, where they either want to stay or look to move on somewhere else.
Unscrupulous travel agents are regularly forming new ideas to stay ahead of the fraud-detecting authorities.
Officials say first-time travellers are often targeted because of their naivety.
Three different methods are used when it comes to travel document fraud.
The first is to use scanning machines and computer software to create entirely new visas and passports, which are then sold for extortionate fees. The best fake documents can be extremely difficult to spot for airport officials and border security agents.
Secondly, forgers can take genuine travel documents and alter them by pasting pictures and adding stamps and signatures.
The third method used involves using a family member’s passport or visa because of similarity in identities, especially easy to do where twins are involved. These kinds of fakes can be difficult to spot because of religious attire and similar facial hair.
Border agents use several different manual and computerized techniques to spot fakes. But often the forgers have already made their money by the time travellers get caught with the invalid documents.
Forgers tend to prey on poor and uneducated travellers looking for employment opportunities abroad.
Even if they do get through Indian border security, the fakes are often spotted by agents from the Canada Border Security Agency.
Where fakes are suspected, the documents are sent to the Canadian embassy to check if they have been officially issued.
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