Search

 

Cablegate: 2008 Quarterly Fraud Summary - Quarter 1

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSB #0405 1281129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071129Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2871
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0140

UNCLAS HARARE 000405

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO KCC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS KFRD CPAS CMGT ASEC ZI
SUBJECT: 2008 QUARTERLY FRAUD SUMMARY - QUARTER 1

REF: HARARE 000118

a. COUNTRY CONDITIONS: All four of Embassy Harare's Fraud Summary
reports for 2007 reported that conditions in Zimbabwe had hit an
all-time low. The downward spiral continues with the added stress
of the March 29 presidential and parliamentary elections, the
results of which have only recently been announced and are
widely-believed to have been rigged. Currency shortages continue as
year-on-year inflation tops 500,000 percent. Basic commodities have
been sporadically available in grocery stores but at prices that are
exorbitant for an average Zimbabwean. Should President Mugabe retain
power, we would expect to see an increase in visa applications, both
valid and fraudulent. Even if the opposition party leader becomes
president, Zimbabwe has a long road to recovery and fraud will
continue to be pervasive. END SUMMARY.

b. NIV FRAUD: NIV fraud has been minimal this quarter. The fraud
prevention unit (FPU) confirmed two instances of passport fraud
relating to NIV applications. Locally employed staff (LES) detected
irregularities in the passports, which the Registrar General's
office confirmed as fraudulent. Both cases were shared with the
regional security office (RSO) who is liaising with Zimbabwean
Republic Police (ZRP) in ongoing investigations.

c. IV FRAUD: Post has investigated a handful of Immigrant Visa (IV)
fraud cases this quarter. Qualifying relationships continue to be
the issue of primary concern. In each case, the petitioner claims
to be married to a Zimbabwean citizen but the "couples" have never
cohabitated and are unable to successfully pass separate telephone
interviews about their purported spouse. Revocation memos have been
sent in each case. Our current SOP has been amended to mandate a
fraud investigation for all step-child petition cases as this
particular visa category has a very high rate of fraud.

d. DV FRAUD: Instances of DV fraud are rare in Harare but
occasionally we encounter instances of questionable "pop-up"
dependents, or dependents added after the primary applicant wins the
lottery.

e. ACS AND PASSPORT FRAUD: Post has seen no significant passport or
ACS fraud this quarter.

f. ADOPTION FRAUD: As inter-country adoption is rare in Zimbabwe,
post has only processed one adoption during the quarter. Fraud was
not suspected.

g. ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFITS FRAUD: As stated in last quarter's
fraud summary, political and economic conditions in Zimbabwe
continue to create the perfect scenario for asylum fraud. Given
that presidential elections were held this quarter and that Mugabe's
tyrannical rule has been in the international spotlight, there is

every reason to believe Zimbabwean asylum applications may increase
in the coming months. Post continues to verify police reports,
death certificates and opposition party incident reports and
membership records for pending asylum hearings as requested by DRL.
While opposition party documents are generally found to be valid,
other supporting documentation is almost always fraudulent. A major
issue is that the main opposition party, Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) is forced to often rely on sketchy records or memories
rather than comprehensive membership rolls in document verification
as their offices have been repeatedly ransacked by the ruling
ZANU-PF party and virtually all their records have been destroyed or
lost. Post will continue to do everything in its power to verify
documents as requested by DHS. Post issued forty I-730 cases in
2007 and currently has 110 Visas 92 cases pending.

h. COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES: In spite of the
contentious nature of relations between the Zimbabwean and U.S.
governments, working level contacts continue to be more than willing
to assist Embassy representatives (Consular, RSO, Political) with
verifying documents for fraud investigations. During Consular
Leadership month the Consular Section hosted a consular open house
for 30 working contacts from host government offices, local schools
and travel agents. The turnout was excellent; the event was
well-received and has contributed to better partnerships with our
interlocutors.

i. STAFFING AND TRAINING: Embassy Harare experienced a significant
loss this quarter when our Administrative Assistant of two years,
Joana Shumba, passed away unexpectedly in January. The consular
team has done its best to fill in where needed and a new
Administrative Assistant will begin work on May 12. As her position
is also responsible for assisting with NIV data entry and document
intake, post will assist her through our local FPU training module
and will seek out regional and international training opportunities
as appropriate.

MCGEE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC