In the past few weeks, more then 10 Iranian nationals were caught carrying forged Israeli passports, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday
The information came from reports relayed to Israeli embassies in Japan, Thailand, and India. In the last several months, Pakistani and Turkish citizens were also caught with fake Israeli passports.
The Israeli passport is considered to be one of the easiest passports to forge and can be purchased in Asia, and especially in Thailand's markets, for anywhere from USD 500 to 2000. The Israeli passport is in great demand because people carrying it can enter Asian countries without a visa.
Israeli officials in Asia report a big increase in cases where Iranian citizens were caught in possession of fake Israeli passport. Israeli consul in Bangkok, Yaakov Dvir, reported that China recently arrested six such Iranian citizens in Macau Island; their original Iranian passports were found during a search of their suitcases.
During interrogation, they confessed that they purchased the passports in Thailand for USD 1,000 for the purpose of entering Macau easily. The Chinese expelled the six Iranians to Thailand and Bangkok authority informed the Israeli consul of the matter, shortly after they were expelled to Tehran.
Another Iranian who was caught in Japan with a fake Israeli passport was caught when the name in his passport belonged to a female. The Iranian replaced the picture, but didn't bother changing the name.
Where do the Israeli passports come from? In 2004, six hundred Israelis reported their passports stolen in Asia. In 2005, the number increased dramtically.
Israeli representatives in Asia estimate that a large number of the passports are sold by backpackers who want to make easy money and then report their passport as lost or stolen. These passports make their way to criminal elements and sold to the highest bidder.
The consul and the police attaché in Asia warned that sooner rather than later, an Israeli passport will fall into the hands of hostile elements that could use it to perpetrate terror attacks.