Police study 'unexplainable' passport forgeries

Police say they have uncovered a 'trend' of Bangladeshi passports with forged birthdates.

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DUBAI // Police have investigated 150 cases of forged Bangladeshi passports in the past three months in what they call a "strange and unexplainable" trend.

The forensic science and criminology department at Dubai Police said the trend had become noticeable in the last quarter of this year.

All of the forgery cases involved original passports on which the birth date had been changed. The holder's age had been decreased or increased.

"This is a strange new trend and there is not a clear specific explanation for the development of this trend," said Hazem Hassan, an expert at the department's document examination section.

Mr Hassan said passport forgers were continually developing methods to beat new technology used by authorities. "Recently, they have started to destroy the electronic chip placed on some passports to ensure that a passport control officer will not be able to read the passport electronically and find out that the data provided in the actual passports does not match the information on the electronic database."

Other types of forgeries investigated by the department during the past few months, involving the passports of several nationalities, include changing the passport holder's photographs; adding pages from other original passports; attaching original visas from other original passports; and forging stamps.