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Cablegate: Damascus Fraud Prevention Management Report

VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #1171/01 3471031
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131031Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4447
INFO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 7168
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 3506
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4816
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0623
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA 0311
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 1288
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 5399
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0304
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 2050
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT 0092
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0639
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 1358
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA 0459
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0319
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 6421
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUCNFB/DIR FBI WASHDC

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 001171

SIPDIS


ATHENS FOR DHS
DEPT FOR INL/HSTC
DEPT FOR NPC PORTSMOUTH

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS CPAS KFRD KCRM CMGT ASEC SY
SUBJECT: DAMASCUS FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGEMENT REPORT
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2007

REF: 05 SECSTATE 205073

The following is submitted in response to the Department's request
in Reftel.

a. Country Conditions

(U) No change.

b. NIV Fraud

(SBU) Post continues to see an increase in Iraqi applicants as
tourists, students, H1b workers and medical cases. Post's FPU
reviews all Iraqi documents if the applicant is going to be issued.
Concerns over the authenticity of Iraqi documents and lack of
standardization of Iraqi passports are mitigated by the fact that
many Iraqis are found ineligible for nonimmigrant visas under
214(b).

(SBU) Several competing offices located near the Consular Section
which offer a wide range of "services," claiming frequently to be
affiliated with the Embassy. As a result, Post has developed a
flyer which we distribute regularly to applicants and have posted
around the Embassy to discourage applicants from using their
services or being persuaded by the visa agents to lie on their
applications.

c. IV Fraud

(SBU) Over the last quarter, FPU was able to compile information on
fraud in ongoing IV files and IV files that have already been issued
as a result of thorough NIV interviews and Post's ACS walk-in hour.
Officers now email the FPM whenever this occurs in addition to
noting the potential fraud in their case notes. This way if the IV
has already been issued, the information is forwarded to the FPM at
NVC for further investigation and possible review of status. If it
is an ongoing IV case, the FPM adds case notes to alert the
interviewing officer and opens an FPU investigation if necessary.

(SBU) Post continues to see a dramatic increase in Iraqi IV cases,
mainly due to the inability of Iraqis to travel to Cairo and Amman.
The majority of Iraqi cases are fianc (K1) or spouse (K3, CR-1)
cases. Fraud indicators involved in most cases include, but are not
limited to, unreliable documents and limited documentation. Since
some Iraqi applicants are not living in Syria, they do not generally
travel with all of their identity documents and are unable or
unwilling to go back to Iraq due to the current environment to get
additional identity documents. Post has instituted a new policy by
which FPU examines all Iraqi documents before the IV officer
conducts the interview. Over the past quarter, FPU has identified
several forged Iraqi passports of each series (S, G, H) and a fake
MFA seal.

(SBU) Post initially identified several suspect Iraqi IDs from the
northern regions of Iraq over the last quarter. Based on initial
review, the FPU believed they were fraudulent because they differed
from standard Iraqi IDs seen at Post. Based on further
investigation and discussion with colleagues in Damascus, Post
determined that the documents presented from the northern (Kurdish)
areas of Iraq lack standardization and are of poor quality but are
genuine IDs produced by Iraqi government offices.

d. DV Fraud

(SBU) FPU has not conducted any DV fraud investigations this
quarter.

e. ACS and Passport Fraud

(SBU) Post has not had serious cases of passport or CRBA fraud this
quarter.

f. Adoption Fraud

(SBU) Post has not has not conducted any fraud investigations on
adoptions this quarter because we have not had any adoptions. Our
adoption flier is currently in the clearance process.

g. Asylum and DHS Benefit Fraud

(SBU) Once again this quarter, Post has investigated documents for
DHS in connection with naturalization proceedings, adjustment of
status, labor certification, and political asylum. Most of the
documents proved to be fraudulent, particularly divorce certificates
and employment/work experience letters.

h. Cooperation with Host Government Authorities

(U) No change.

j. Staffing and Training

(SBU) Post continues to produce regular training documents and
presentations on fake Iraqi documents encountered at Post. The FPU
distributes the presentations to other colleagues at missions in
Damascus as well as CA/FPP, NVC, posts in the region, DHS and other
interested agencies. The FPU presentation on a fake G passport
associated with an IV case at Post was one of the first fake G
passports reported. Our powerpoint presentations can be obtained by
writing to fpmdamascus@state.gov.

(SBU) Over the last quarter, the FPU has been coordinating with
Airport Liaison Officers (ALOs) from other embassies in Damascus to
obtain information on mala fide passengers who have been off-loaded
either in Damascus. The FPU has produced various reports individual
off-loaded passengers which were distributed to CA/FPP, Posts in the
region, DHS and other interested agencies.

CORBIN

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