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Cablegate: Fraud Summary Jan-Mar 2008 Kingston

VZCZCXRO4444
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHTM
DE RUEHKG #0425/01 1351714
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141714Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6336
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0516
INFO RUEHZI/WHA IM POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KINGSTON 000425

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP
DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC JM
SUBJECT: FRAUD SUMMARY JAN-MAR 2008 KINGSTON

REF: A) 08 KINGSTON 00091 B) 07 KINGSTON 01742


1. (U) SUMMARY. In the second quarter of FY 2008, the Fraud
Prevention Unit focused on public outreach and interagency
cooperation, particularly with our law enforcement colleagues. FPU
organized an interagency roundtable, conducted three offsite field
trips for officers, and gave presentations to airline
representatives, immigration officers, and our friends at the
British and Canadian High Commissions. Kingston's FPU received 233
Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) cases, 3 new Immigrant Visa (IV) cases, 9
American Citizen Services (ACS) cases, and 150 external requests
(data checks from DHS, airlines, local immigration, etc.). FPU
processed an additional 160 walk-in cases and entered 318 CLASS
records based on I-275 turn around reports and other tip reports.
Of all the NIV cases referred, 167 were closed, with 49 confirmed
fraud (confirmed fraud rate: 29%). 7 IV cases were closed this
quarter, with three confirmed fraud (confirmed fraud rate: 43%).
END SUMMARY

-----------------------
NONIMMIGRANT VISA FRAUD
-----------------------

2. (SBU) PERFORMERS: In January, FPU intercepted a group of sixteen
performers who had close ties to the Caribbean Alliance Group, a
petitioner known to FPU to have associations with drug trafficking.
While this group of performers had applied under a new petition,
many of the group had previously traveled for Caribbean Alliance
Group and the bona fides of their previous travel could not be
established. Most of the group could not give convincing answers
about their upcoming tour, so the group was refused and their ties
to the suspect petitioner were documented.

3. (U) J1 SUMMER WORK AND TRAVEL PROGRAM: In February, our
interviewers noticed a group of J1 summer work and travel students
whose program dates ran from February to May 2008. FPU investigated
the group and determined that none of the students met the
qualifications for the summer work and travel program. Most were
only part-time students and several claimed to attend the Computer
Professionals Training Institute, a bogus educational entity. The
group's travel agent, Annie Wilson, had organized their applications
and claimed to represent the group on behalf of the Nu Krew
Employment Agency. However, this was not the first time that Ms.
Wilson had come to the attention of the Fraud Prevention Unit. She
had previously attempted to obtain visa appointments through
fraudulent means. Adhering to Kingston's new "zero-tolerance"
policy for agents who abuse the expedited appointment process, FPU
has barred Ms. Wilson and the Nu Krew Employment Agency from using
the expedited system. FPU also reported the suspicious U.S.
employment agency, Philadelphia International Institute, to the
Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

4. (U) PENN RELAYS: The Penn Relays track and field meet in April of
each year is a major athletic event that is a significant cultural
milestone for many young Jamaican athletes. Hundreds of high school
and university students apply for visas each spring to attend the
meet. However, many mala fide applicants apply for visas to attend
the meet as well, disguising themselves as student athletes. In
order to combat the high fraud associated with this event but still
allow the bona fide student athletes to travel, FPU implemented a
new system to prescreen all Penn Relays applicants. The FPM and FPU
investigator delivered a presentation to over 100 principals and
coaches of the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA), a
local organization that coordinates all sports at the secondary
school level. All schools submitted their students' applications
and passports in advance of their visa interviews. After the cases
were adjudicated, FPU verified the student enrollment of all 350
students over a three day period to ensure that each visa was issued
to a bona fide student athlete. The new screening system was very
successful and resulted in an improved relationship with ISSA and
all the high schools involved in the process.

--------------------
IMMIGRANT VISA FRAUD
--------------------

5. (U) In February 2008, the FPU staff conducted field
investigations on outstanding immigrant visa cases over the course
of three days. Two of the Unit's Fraud Investigators organized the
trips and invited an entry-level officer (ELO) in the Consular
Section to participate each day, in order to serve as a training
opportunity and help orient the ELOs to the work involved in
conducting a fraud investigation. The two-day field trip covered
four parishes and resulted in the completion of four immigrant visa
case investigations, of which two were determined to be fraudulent

KINGSTON 00000425 002 OF 003


relationships. FPU plans to continue to organize these field trips
bimonthly.

--------
DV FRAUD
--------

6. (U) Kingston is not a DV post.

--------------------------------------------
AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES AND PASSPORT FRAUD
--------------------------------------------

7. (U) FPU continues to investigate passport and CRBA applications
for the ACS Unit by providing Lexis Nexis and other database
searches on applications in order to assist the ACS officers in
their adjudication process. Particularly in the rush of passport
applications that has followed the implementation of the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), ACS has brought more cases to
FPU's attention for verification of U.S. civil documents and Lexis
searches to verify the passport applicants' claims to citizenship.

--------------
ADOPTION FRAUD
--------------

8. (U) FPU regularly investigates adoption cases where the
applicant's orphan status is uncertain. Jamaica has a tradition of
informal adoption without documentation, which makes it difficult
for Jamaican applicants to establish their eligibility. Often, an
applicant's relatives in the United States will adopt the applicant
despite the fact that the applicant does not qualify as an orphan.
FPU conducts regular field investigations to the applicants' homes
in order to determine who is caring for the applicant and whether
the family meets the poverty definitions of the INA.

-----------------------------------
ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFITS FRAUD
-----------------------------------

9. (U) Post's DHS/USCIS Officer-in-Charge reports no asylum cases
for the second quarter of 2008.

--------------------------------------------
COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES
--------------------------------------------

10. (U) FPU continued our public outreach efforts with airline and
immigration officer trainings in January and February. FPU trained
60 new airline representatives and 20 immigration officers on
fraudulent document detection, facial recognition and U.S. travel
document requirements.

--------------------------------
COOPERATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES
--------------------------------

11. (SBU) In February, FPU sponsored a roundtable meeting with all
U.S. law enforcement agencies at Post: the U.S. Marshals, the
Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA),
the Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS), the Regional Security Office,
and the Consular Section. It was the first gathering of these
agencies in recent memory to discuss fraud issues and was a highly
successful meeting. The group agreed to implement better
information-sharing practices and to meet more regularly to discuss
fraud trends and other cross-cutting issues.

12. (SBU) As a result of the law enforcement roundtable meeting, our
DHS colleagues have begun to regularly share lists of Jamaican
deportees that have arrived on the monthly Justice Prisoner and
Alien Transportation System (JPATS) flights from the U.S. FPU has
used this information to ensure that all deportees have been entered
into the CLASS database. FPU has also received invaluable drug
interdiction intelligence from DEA and NAS, as well as developed a
closer relationship with the U.S. Marshals office to detect wanted
fugitives who apply for visas.

-------------------------------
COOPERATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT
-------------------------------

13. (U) FPU hosted a three-day visit by the Department's Fraud
Prevention Programs (CA/FPP) liaison for the Caribbean in February
and shared our best practices, as well as the challenges we face in

KINGSTON 00000425 003 OF 003


detecting and preventing fraud in Kingston. The visit produced
valuable results and strengthened our working relationship with the
Department and our regional colleagues.


---------------------------
AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN
---------------------------

14. (SBU) FRAUDULENT ENTRY TO CONSULAR SECTION: In March, FPU
received information from the Consular Process Facilitator that
applicants appeared to be entering the compound without valid
appointment letters. After our staff identified several applicants
who had entered improperly, FPU investigated and discovered that
these applicants were arriving at the entrance and asking for
admission to the American Citizen Services Unit. Upon further
investigation, the applicants admitted that they had paid a vendor
outside on the sidewalk approximately US $100 each for information
on how to access the Consular Section. The A/RSO-I interrogated the
vendor and turned her over to the Jamaican Fraud Squad for criminal
investigation.

---------------------
STAFFING AND TRAINING
---------------------

15. (U) OFFICER TRAINING: In February, FPU coordinated and hosted
an intensive, three hour training session for visa officers to
review visa security features, exemplars of backdated immigration
stamps, common fraudulent groups and trends, and investigative
interviewing skills. The presentation was the inaugural session in
what is planned to be monthly officer training sessions to cover a
range of fraud prevention issues as they arise.

16. (U) OFFICER FIELD TRIPS: In March, FPU coordinated an off-site
field trip to the Registrar General's Department (RGD) to learn
about the process to obtain local birth and marriage certificates.
The RGD provided an insightful presentation and tour of its
facilities. FPU learned that the RGD has many security measures in
place and treats its security paper much like visa foils in terms of
access and accountability. Officers were able to ask questions
about the most common fraud trends that arise in visa interviews
with regards to local birth and marriage records. The director of
the RGD, Dr. Patricia Holness, personally gave the presentation and
guided us on the tour. The field trip provided officers and staff
with a better understanding of the RGD and built confidence in the
RGD's ability to prevent fraud.

17. (U) LES TRAINING: Fraud Investigator Erica Beresford attended
PC-542 Fraud Prevention Workshop at FSI on March 10-14, 2008. Ms.
Beresford learned critical new investigative skills and how to apply
the latest CA/FPP tools. She also benefited from interacting with
her colleagues from around the world. Upon Ms. Beresford's return
to Post, she shared her experiences in a roundtable discussion with
the rest of the Fraud Prevention Unit. The training was immensely
valuable and Post plans to nominate another LES staff member for the
next available training course.

18. (U) The Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM) position is vacant. The
current FPM is Jennifer L. Williams, an ELO in a six month rotation.


JOHNSON

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