Cablegate: Request for Information On Host Gov Practices
DE RUEHSW #1077/01 3121601
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081601Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4667
UNCLAS BERN 001077
CIA FOR NCTC AND DEPT FOR S/CT KEN MCKANE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL CVIS ASEC KVPR SZ
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON HOST GOV PRACTICES
REF: A) 06 STATE 190832 B) 07 STATE 133921
1.(SBU) Post would like to submit responses to questions in STATE
133921. We have been as complete as possible but can approach the
governments of Switzerland or Liechtenstein for further information
if something in particular is required. We also note that while
Liechtenstein and Switzerland's practices are similar and in some
areas identical, the responses in this cable are focused on
ICE Attache/Bern does not interact with any Swiss agency maintaining
any type of "watchlist." Such task is the responsibility of the
Transportation Security Administration attach assigned to the U.S.
Embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
B. TRAVELER INFORMATION COLLECTION Air travelers have their
passports scanned upon arriving and departing Swiss airports. Land
border crossings, to include rail crossings, generally have
identifying data manually entered into hand-held devices that are
later downloaded into a migration data base.
The information is collected by entities under the Swiss Office for
Migration and Swiss Border Police.
Obtaining border crossing information from Swiss authorities is
difficult. Written and verbal requests for such information within
the past six months have been ignored. However, Swiss authorities
freely provide detailed information to ICE Attache/Bern on subjects
being deported to the U.S., or have some type of U.S. connection.
Passenger Name Records are collected from arriving commercial
flights and shared with Swiss law enforcement agencies. Such
information can be shared upon request pursuant to existing Customs
Mutual Assistance Agreements.
Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) has been effective in
identifying wanted subjects who have an active NCIC (National Crime
Information Center) warrant, TECS (Treasury Enforcement
Communication System) subject lookout, and INTERPOL lookout.
Recently, such information was used to aid Zurich Canton Police in
identifying and arresting an individual wanted in Switzerland for a
C. BORDER CONTROL AND SCREENING
ICE Attache/Bern does not interact with the host government on
software to screen travelers of security interest. Such interaction
is done with TSA and the National Targeting Center (NTC) operated by
the U.S. Customs and Border protection (CBP). However, APIS
information from outbound Swiss flights bound for the United States
are downloaded to queries in TECS, NTC data bases, and U.S. agencies
maintaining watch list or no fly lists.
Switzerland presently issues passports which are machine readable
and have a digital photo (Model 03) as well as passports that
contain a chip with biometric information on it (Model 06).
However, there are older passports (Model 85) which are not machine
readable and do not contain biometric information and are still in
use. The passports of this type will expire on 12/31/2007 and they
are not renewable.
When Swiss citizens lose a passport the authorities will issue a
replacement passport with full validity, that does not look any
different from the outside nor does it have a different series
number. If a person loses more than three passports within five
years the Swiss will only issue another passport valid for two
The personal data in Emergency passports is printed on laminated
security paper. The emergency passports are machine readable,
include a digital photo, but do not include a biometric chip.
Model 03 (F1234567), model 06 (X1234567) and emergency passports
(J1234567) have different series numbers, starting with different
letters of the alphabet followed by a seven digit number.
Post sees no widespread pattern of applicants obtaining new
passports in order to hide evidence of prior travel. However, as
many Swiss citizens have taken advantage and obtained new model
passports, post does see many visa applicants with 'clean' passports
as the newer models have only been issued since 2003.
F. FRAUD DETECTION
The Swiss Federal Police and Swiss Office for Migration have
reported passport fraud matters to ICE Attache/Bern. The Swiss
Office for Federal Migration is persistent and will contact multiple
sources regarding passport fraud, including INTERPOL and police
agencies in other countries.
In one case, the Swiss Federal Police submitted fingerprint
exemplars for ICE Attache/Bern to compare on an immigration
violation case. The prints were submitted to the Southwest regional
Lab in Houston, Texas for analysis and comparison in both the
immigration and NCIC data bases.
Stolen Swiss passports and fraud trends are normally reported to
Interpol by the Swiss Federal Office of Police.
G. PRIVACY AND DATA SECURITY
Transmittal of personal information to agencies outside Switzerland
is severely restricted. Disclosure of personal data is governed by
the Swiss Federal Office of Data Protection.
Switzerland presently does not grant Freedom of Information Act
rights (similar to that of the U.S.) to non-citizens/residents.
H. IMMIGRATION DATA BASES
Computerized data bases with passport scanning capabilities are
employed at Swiss airports. However, in practice, passports are
normally scanned upon entry at an airport and are normally visually
inspected upon departure.
At land border crossings, passport data is normally captured when a
vehicle and its occupants are subject to a secondary examination.
Examination of all persons and vehicles crossing a Swiss land border
is impractical and would adversely affect commerce.
I. WATCHLIST AND INFORMATION SHARING
No available information.
Switzerland currently does not routinely capture biometric data at
its ports of entry.
Since September 2006, the Swiss government issues passports with
electronically stored data. However, some of the older Swiss
passports still in use contain no biometric identifiers.
K. IDENTIFYING APPROPRIATE PARTNERS
Swiss Federal Office of Police
Swiss Federal Office for Migration
Swiss Federal Office of Police, Service for Analysis and Prevention
Presently, the Swiss are not partners with the United States under
the C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism). One of
the main issues is the protection/disclosure of Swiss privacy data.
Any such data sharing is precluded by Swiss law.
However, the recent ratification of the Operative Working Agreement
(OWA) does provide sharing of information at a law enforcement level
as it relates to terrorism. But, ICE Attache/Bern has not yet been
in a position or had the opportunity to share or receive any
information pursuant to this agreement.
The Swiss Federal Office of Data Protection is admittedly
short-staffed but adequately safeguards the protection of privacy
data pursuant to strict Swiss laws.
The Swiss law does not specifically define terrorism per se, but
select provisions of the Swiss penal code criminalize numerous
offenses indicative of and associated with terrorism.
ICE Attache/Bern, Switzerland
1) Please provide an inventory of what interagency efforts you have
undertaken with State and Justice to increase our capacities at the
Embassies and Consulates in detecting and eliminating document
Liaison with the FBI Legat, Regional Security Officer, and Consul
General have established an informal, but effective system of
reporting document fraud to the ICE Attache/Bern. Issues relating
to document and visa fraud are brought to the attention of consular
officers and contemporaneously reported to ICE Attache/Bern. One
such case involved an American citizen, who was suspected of
passport fraud. The case was subsequently closed due to
insufficient evidence, but was later re-opened by the U.S. State
Department, Diplomatic Security Service based upon information
developed by the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police department and ICE
As a result of liaison efforts, cases pertaining to document and
visa fraud are routinely reported to ICE Attache/Bern as a matter of
standard procedure. Consular staff refer all document and visa
fraud matters to their supervisor AND to ICE Attache/Bern. The
majority of the reporting to date has dealt more with visa fraud
than general document fraud.
Within the past year, the following cases with multiple violators
have been initiated based primarily on liaison efforts with the
Consul General and regional Security Officer:
CASE NUMBER VIOLATORS RESULT
SZ16MT07SZ0002 2 Case ongoing.
SZ16MT07SZ0003 1 Case ongoing
SZ17FT07SZ0001 3 Case ongoing.
Two people secondaried.
SZ19HT07SZ0001 1 Case ongoing.
SZ13FT07SZ0006 1 One individual excluded
from the U.S.
2) Please provide an assessment of the level of FDUA trend analysis
information sharing you would find appropriate for foreign
government collaboration. Presuming there is some degree of sharing
already taking place; provide an inventory of what foreign
government information sharing you have done to date on fraudulent
document trend analysis and with whom.
Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit trend analysis and related
training would be welcome by Swiss authorities. Trends should not
be region or country specific but worldwide as Swiss Embassies and
Consulates overseas frequently encounter visa, refugee, and document
fraud and often consult with the Consul General on such matters.
These cases are then referred to ICE Attache/Bern. All types of
document fraud should be shared with Swiss authorities as they
encounter many immigrants from Europe, Africa, China, and the
Dominican Republic etc.
Within the past year, the following cases have been worked with
CASE NUMBER VIOLATORS RESULT
SZ17FT07SZ0001 3 Case ongoing. Two people
SZ16CE07SZ0001 1 U.S. immigration violation.
Swiss Federal Police
Swiss Federal Office of Justice
SZ09YL08SZ0001 1 Identity and passport fraud. Subject
Swiss Office for Migration deportation from Switzerland.
SZ09YL07SZ0003 1 Identity fraud-negative results.
Swiss Office for Migration
CBP SW Document Lab, Houston
SZ02PK05MV0004 1 Bank account frozen pending MLAT.
Swiss Federal Police