Israel has become a transit station for hundreds of Chinese and Malaysian immigrants entering the country from Egypt using fake passports and departing for Canada. At least 10 such immigrants were recently exposed trying to enter and leave Israel under fake identities en route to North America.
The Population, Immigration and Border Authority is not only concerned with damage to Israel's border control reputation but possible infiltration of hostile elements.
According to an Immigration Authority report, the new infiltrators come in small groups of 2-4 people carrying fake passports from such countries as Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the UK. The forgeries, it is said, are in very high quality.
According to the report, the passengers try to give themselves a "western appearance" but do not speak English, with the exception of one person in the group whose job it is to see to it that the illegal immigrants reach their destinations.
Entering Israel from Cairo, Amman or Taba the infiltrators tell border control authorities they are coming to visit Christian holy sites. But the resort suggests that instead of Jerusalem or Bethlehem, they can be found in Tel Aviv purchasing plane tickets to Canada and usually leave the country within three days.
In recent months, at least 10 such Chinese and Malaysian infiltrators managed to fool border control authorties and enter Israel en-route to Canada. They use their real passport to enter Egypt, whereas in Israel they use a previously-prepared fake passport.
Heading to Germany, sent back to Israel
On November 19, a couple carrying Korean passports crossed the border in Eilat and bought a ticket to Frankfurt in Tel Aviv. However, German immigration authorities refused to allow them in and they were returned to Israel two days later, without notifying Israeli immigration, it was claimed. On December 4, they headed to Britain but were detained there again and deported back to Israel without their fake passports which had been confiscated.
"This phenomenon hurts out reputation opposite the immigration authorities in Canada and the rest of the western countries," an Immigration Authority element said. "Also, some of the infiltrators come from Muslim countries like Malaysia with which we do not even maintain diplomatic relations."
Immigration Authority director Amnon Ben-Ami said in response: "This is another example showing that fraud methods are getting more and more sophisticated. Unfortunately, many take advantage of Israel's openness and our willingness to open our gates to the people of the world. Such cases hurt the real tourists as they cause extra-cautious checks."
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