Cablegate: Fpu Nairobi: Fraud, Fraud, Everywhere
DE RUEHNR #2307/01 1551212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041212Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0081
INFO RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0281
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 4948
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9342
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 4822
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 1869
UNCLAS NAIROBI 002307
DEPT FOR CA/EX - PAUL CANTRELL
DEPT FOR CA/FPP PASS TO MELISSA LEDESMA-LEESE
PASS TO KCC
PASS TO INL/HSTC
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC KCRM KE
SUBJECT: FPU NAIROBI: FRAUD, FRAUD, EVERYWHERE
1. Summary: Nairobi's Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) sees a wide
variety of NIV, IV, and ACS fraud on a daily basis. May 15, 2007
proved to be an excellent example of the depth and breadth of fraud
encountered over and beyond the normal workload, and is illustrative
of a day in the life of our FPU section's lone investigation
assistant. As such, Post believes that our current FPU staff of one
full-time FSN is insufficient. Post requests that Washington fund a
second full-time FSN grade 7 position to give us the resources to
better pursue fraud.
NIV - SPONSORSHIP FRAUD AND FAKE IDENTITIES
2. In the first NIV case of the day, a prospective student returned
with his sponsor at the request of the adjudicating officer, who
felt in the first interview that his sponsorship somehow seemed
"funny." The student presented his sponsor who confirmed (per the
applicant's assertions) that he was a clearing and forwarding agent.
FPU's investigation assistant first determined that the sponsor's
national identification card was a forgery. After several focused
questions, he also determined that the sponsor knew nothing about
his purported business, and was not the owner of the bank statements
provided. Post decided against arresting the mystery sponsor due to
the workload inherent in taking the individual to the police
station, swearing statements, and subsequent court cases.
3. Later that morning, adjudicating officers encountered a number
of fraudulent bank statements that were high quality scans printed
on perforated bank paper to make them appear as if they were genuine
statements. These bank statements, which appear to be from the same
source, were examined and the fraud detection points were reviewed
in real time with the adjudicators resulting in rapid refusals of
4. Subsequently, a student applicant produced a suspected
fraudulent high school certificate which was confirmed by the
investigations assistant as the applicant waited at the window.
Since this was a new style of fraudulent document, the
investigations assistant then shared his catch with other
adjudicators, updating them on the new trend.
IV - HOW MANY PRINCIPAL APPLICANTS CAN A CASE HAVE?
5. Before NIV adjudications began, one of our IV clerks met briefly
with the FPU manager and investigations assistant to discuss fraud
in a Diversity Visa (DV) case she had encountered. The IV clerk had
fielded an odd request from a DV principal applicant, which led her
to scrutinize a case. Working with the FPU investigations
assistant, she pulled the case file and found that three persons
were claiming to be the principal applicant in a DV case, and each
claimed-principal applicant was attempting to add-on a different
spouse, all of them coming from the same particularly fraud-prone
applicant pool. All principals claim to have the same name and date
of birth, but have supplied different pictures, suggesting that they
are capable of gaining birth certificates and passports in the
identity of their choosing.
6. Later in the day, a DV applicant attempted to include a "pop-up"
spouse to her case file. They chose to prove the relationship with
pictures that were photo-subbed. Earlier in the day, the
investigations assistant met with an informant regarding a DV fraud
ring, providing detailed information to include phone numbers,
address, and location of the ringleader's office. She described how
the fraud ring changes the applicants' addresses so they control all
information that KCC sends the applicants regarding their applicant
and interview. She went on to describe how the ring pays villagers
to pose in "relationship" photographs in an attempt to build a
fictitious history between the principal applicant and the person
that the ring chooses as their spouse.
7. In the afternoon, the investigations assistant carried-out a
time-consuming and detailed Stokes interview to build evidence
against a DV applicant and their added spouse. The "ghost marriage"
fraud rings (as detailed in 06-04 Fraud Digest of July 2006) are now
perpetuating more complicated fraud, to include, photo albums,
shared bank accounts, and even pregnancies.
ACS - REAL CHILD, FAKE DOCUMENTS
8. Around midday, an ACS clerk encountered a Sudanese Amcit and his
wife who were attempting to obtain a CRBA and passport for their
newborn. Suspicions were raised, and the ACS clerk consulted FPU's
investigation assistant who confirmed that the parents' marriage
certificate and child's birth certificate were forgeries. Thanks to
the investigation assistant's quick work, the ACS section was able
to turn away the parents and request that they seek original
documents to support their child's application. Post will likely
request DNA testing to confirm the maternal and paternal
relationship to the applicant.
ACTION REQUEST - NAIROBI NEEDS MORE FPU STAFF
9. Action Request: Given the volume and variety of fraud that FPU
encounters on a daily basis, Nairobi requests that Washington fund
(potentially through DV-related funds) an additional FPU grade 7
investigation assistant position at a cost of approximately $30,000,
plus additional office-related costs of $9,000. Post has seen an
increase in case volume and complexity in IV, NIV, and ACS; and with
those increases a correlated increase in fraud trends. At this
point, Post's previous stopgap of using FSNs from NIV to offer
part-time assistance to the lone FPU investigations assistant is no
longer tenable given the increases in NIV volumes year-over-year.
Nairobi also urgently needs more FSN staffing for IV and ACS.
However; given the escalating fraud environment, Post requests that
Washington give priority to funding an additional FPU FSN position.