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Passports, scandals, assassinations and security!

February 24, 2010

Well dear readers, the issues of dual citizenship or the availability of genuine……let alone fake…..passports is not normally something which people think about…….at least until recently of course.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-refuses-to-help-britain-with-inquiry-into-fake-passports-1907388.html

Maybe twenty years ago, organised criminals in the UK had a “market” for passports stolen in domestic burglaries and once upon a time I could have taken you to places in Huddersfield, Leeds and Manchester where you could have bought an altered passport to meet your needs…..namely the photograph matched yours but the rest of the passport was as it was when stolen.

This was not because I was part of organised crime in the UK, far from it, I was on the other side, the side which sought to manage organised crime and spent much time on surveillence or under cover for various agencies in the UK.   Anyway that’s another story which will not be written…….at least here!

My point is simply that real, fake, altered, stolen passports have been a commodity in organised crime, terrorism and of course a tool in combating the same for decades.

David “006” Miliband has expressed “the profound concern that exists not just in Britain but all over Europe about this incident” whilst the EU has said “the assassination raised “profoundly disturbing” issues”……namely EU passports being used of course.

This is all very well, until you consider just how easy it is to have more than one genuine passport. 

We will take the case of a certain Slavic gentleman I know well.  He has a Russian passport from decades in Russia although born in Odessa.  He also has a Ukrainian Passport because he applied for it as his birth certificate shows he was born in Ukraine.  He also has a Greek passport as his grandmother was Greek.  Not one of these nations knows he holds any other passport than their own and yet he is legally entitled to hold each nations passport and broke no rules and paid no bribes to get them .

Yes it can be argued that Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship by way of constitution, but there is a contradicting law in the Statute which does allow it, and many of Ukraine’s elite make the most of this “legal ambigutity” with others I know holding Ukrainian and……Israeli or American or UK or Bulgarian or Czech passports as well…….all legally obtained with no laws broken in obtaining them.  Any laws broken thereafter, of course I have no idea about. 

I am entitled to take Ukrainian citizenship should I wish due to domestic circumstances and should I do so it is my responsibility, after getting my Ukrainian passport to surrender my UK one to the UK if I was to be led by the Ukrainian constitution.  This would also mean I would no longer need a Visa for Russia either.  The point is Ukraine cannot take my UK passport from me when issuing me theirs as it is property of HM Government so not theirs to take and it is incumbent on me to inform the UK of what I have done and return it…….Yeh……now you see how easy it is to hold 2 passports legally…….I simply do not surrender my UK passport or even mention to the UK I have a Ukrainian one. 

I didn’t take the route of getting a Ukrainian passport but took Permanent Residency instead of citizenship…….but I could have and quite legally.

Even if I didn’t have a legal rite to hold it through my domestic circumstances, I could still, for $100,000 simply buy Ukrainian citizenship from Ukraine quite officially as per the Ukrainian Government website.

If you know people in the RADA it is only $20,000……enough said.

It is also quite possible to buy, not only a geniune Bulgarian passport here in Ukraine, but also the Shengen borderless nations pass (like a credit card) to go with your Bulgarian passport for Euro 30,000 if you have the right connections.  No doubt there are others too which I have no personal knowledge about.

The fact is they are all genuine and not fake and would stand up to scrutiny without a problem……..because they are geniune!

I will admit, for the likes of you and I, this is probably a pointless exercise accomplishing nothing for us as individuals and the costs involved would also put many people off……..but if you are of a criminal mentality or worse…….or need a false ID for some reason…….like popping over to the Middle East to illiminate a problem…….then neither money nor reason are lacking.

There is obviously more outrage within Britain as even though Embassies world wide hold blank passports ready for issue, they are of course stored in a safe, in serial number order and regularly audited and signed off by the Embassy staff to combat the issuing of “dubious passports”.

That said, it is safe to say that given the connections and money, a blank of any nations passport can be “available”……particularly to national security organisations.

One of the reasons Ukraine is being held up from further EU integration is of course border security, however this incident quite clearly shows that border security is not what the public thinks it is……..then again, the public twenty years ago didn’t realise the market for stolen passports either!  

There is no such thing as 100% security, so you can only make it as difficult as possible, without making yourself a prisoner by surrendering too many personal rites in the process less you create another threat from within by depriving people of long held freedoms to sit along side the external threat as well.

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