Romania: Availability of fraudulent identity documents (2005-2007)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||8 March 2007|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ROU102293.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Romania: Availability of fraudulent identity documents (2005-2007), 8 March 2007, ROU102293.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469cd6ae2.html [accessed 17 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Information regarding fraudulent identity documents was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
In an article from Deutsche Welle, a German international broadcaster, a security official at a border post in Iasi, Romania was quoted as saying that "we are finding more and more Moldavians with false Romanian passports and we arrest smugglers every day" (21 Dec. 2006). Another article from the Daily Express states that corruption is "endemic" in Romania and that "court officials must be bribed to provide copies of legal documents and police and customs officers are notorious for demanding bribes" (29 Aug. 2006).
According to Rompres, a Romanian National press agency, there is a possibility that Romania will introduce biometric passports (Rompres 30 Jan. 2006; ibid. 5 Apr. 2006). Regarding biometric passports, a representative of the Passports General Directorate provided the following information to the Research Directorate in correspondence dated 1 March 2007:
From the prospective [sic] of Romania's accession to the European Union, the Passports General Directorate has as main target the measures of implementing the Council Regulation (EC) No. 2252/2004 of 13 December 2004 on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States. With this end in view, the Romanian Government has passed the Decision no. 557/2006 pertaining to the date of issuing the electronic passports and to the form and content of such documents, amended and supplemented by the Government Decision no. 1869/2006 that provides at article 1, par. (2) [that] electronic passports will be issued starting with the date of 1 September 2007.
Presently, the proceedings of an international tender are in due course. The company that will be awarded the tender will be the producer of Romanian electronic passports blanks. The documents will be personalized by the Romanian authorities.
The currently used Romanian travel documents are highly secured as proved by the fact that since their issuing in 2001 only two unsuccessful attempts of forgery were found.
According to Rompres, Romania's president has indicated that "counterfeits and piracy still exist on the Romanian market" (12 July 2006). In 2004, a Bucharest-based newspaper noted that an investigation was launched in Buzau following allegations that officers of the Computerized Population Records Service (SEIP) had issued false passports or identity documents (Evenimentul Zilei 3 Nov. 2006). The investigation demonstrated that, at that time, it was a "usual occurrence" to obtain forged documents through law enforcement officials and that "officers of the SEIP in Buzau [had] issued a lot of passports and identity cards with false data" (ibid.). According to a border policeman in Nadlac, deception of border controls can be done two ways: by intellectual forgery or by substitution of individuals and that they had faced "a large enough number of such situations" (ibid.). Corroborative information with regard to the Buzau office investigation could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Additional information on fraudulent identity documents could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Daily Express [London]. 29 August 2006. "How Bribes of £20 Open a Backdoor Route to UK." (Factiva)
Deutsche Welle. 21 December 2006. "Romania Beefs Up Security at EU's Eastern Frontier."
Evenimentul Zilei [Bucharest, in Romanian]. 3 November 2006. Raluca Stepanov."Omar Hayssam's Forged Passport." (Dialog/WNC)
Romania. 1 March 2007. Passports General Directorate. Correspondence from a representative of the Public Communications Department.
Rompres. 12 July 2006. "Piracy, Counterfeit May Have Serious Consequences on Health, Business Environment, Proliferation of Terrorism." (Dialog/WNC)
_____ . 5 April 2006. "Great Britain is Very Impressed by Romania's Progress." (Dialog/WNC)
_____ . 30 January 2006. "Romanians Are Freer in Europe." (Dialog/WNC)
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: The Embassy of Romania in Ottawa indicated that it did not have information on the subject.
The Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee, the General Passport Directorate of Romania and the Canadian Embassy in Bucharest did not provide information within the time constraints of this Response.
Internet sites, including: Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee, Centre for European Policy Studies, Council of Europe, EGMONT – Royal Institute for International Relations, European Country of Origin Information Network, European Union, Europol, Factiva, Government of Romania, Interpol, Ministry of Administration and Interior of Romania, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, National Anticorruption Directorate, Open Society Institute, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Transitions Online, United Kingdom Home Office, United States Department of State, World News Connection.