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Protect our passports integrity says Mark


19 April 2004

Protect our passports integrity says Mark

New Zealand First has again called for the current review of passport laws to involve retrospective checks to ensure the ongoing international integrity of New Zealand passports.

Law and order spokesperson Ron Mark said today that many incidents in recent times highlighted the fact that people will not hesitate to fraudulently use our highly regarded passports to meet their own criminal ends.

“New Zealand First has been warning the Government for years about this problem, uncovering many scams and acts of fraud which were all but laughed off,“ said Mr Mark.

“There is documented corruption and fraud in the Immigration Service, some Asian refugees granted citizenship have been engaging in large-scale organised crime, suspected terrorists are being kept by the taxpayer, and now foreign spy agencies are alleged to be fraudulently using our passports for inconspicuous travel.

“Even the Hollywood movie industry has known for a while how simple and effective it is to forge and travel on New Zealand passports. In the 2001 movie “Heist” Gene Hackman’s character and his wife both clearly use fraudulent New Zealand passports to travel the world.

“The Government should be warned that if it fails to protect the integrity of our passport, it will feel a backlash, not from Hollywood directors, but from other nations who are unwilling to allow New Zealanders access to their countries on security grounds forcing many travel-hungry New Zealanders to stay at home,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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