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Cablegate: Quarterly Fraud Summary - Nairobi (Corrected Copy)

VZCZCXYZ0013
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #5267/01 3481415
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141415Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6032
INFO RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0275
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 4864
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9001
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 4621
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 1819

UNCLAS NAIROBI 005267

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/CA
DEPT FOR CA/FPP
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: QUARTERLY FRAUD SUMMARY - NAIROBI (CORRECTED COPY)

REF: A. Nairobi 3733 B. NAIROBI 2782, C. NAIROBI 2509, D. NAIROBI

1650, E. NAIROBI 817, F. NAIROBI 740, G. 05 STATE 205073, H. 05
NAIROBI 4523, I. 05 NAIROBI 3627

1. (U) Summary. The following report replies to Ref G reinstitution
of the quarterly fraud report covering the current condition of
consular fraud in Kenya, with specific reference to fraud trends in
non-immigrant visa, immigrant visa, and diversity visa applications
as well as cases of American Citizen Services, adoption, and
passport fraud. Other areas covered include cooperation with the
host government, and areas of particular concern. The review
concludes with an overview of FPU staffing and training. End
Summary.

------------------
COUNTRY CONDITIONS
------------------

2. (SBU) Post's fraud environment remains complicated, as outlined
in Ref E. Post continues to implement anti-fraud measures to combat
IV and DV fraud. Relatively large appointment backlogs and ongoing
short staffing mean that Nairobi continues to look for efficient
means of fraud prevention. In the last quarter, Post has seen a
growth of IV applicants who describe themselves as refugees,
particularly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Post was
disappointed in DHS' recent series of reaffirmations based on our
recommended revocations of K1 visas for Eritrean and Ethiopian
applicants despite one applicant acknowledging that he was assisted
by a ring and was committing relationship fraud. Nairobi was
pleased to intercept a high quality 1998-Model U.S. passport forgery
similar to those intercepted in the last year at Kenyan immigration
in the hands of Chinese nationals.

--------------------------------------------- ---
NIV FRAUD - STUDENT VISA FRAUD AND MYSTERY TWINS
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (U) Nairobi continues to see F1 student applicants using recycled
bank statements from what they describe as distant relatives, and
continues to catch applicants using CCD text searches. Post will
report septel on a validation study performed on all student
applicants issued in a recent two-year timeframe. Nairobi believes
that cost of education is the largest hurdle for Kenyan applicants
and the main reason for not completing studies in the U.S.

4. (SBU) A/RSO-I is working with Diplomatic Security in Washington
to develop a case against an "overseas education consultant" with
offices in the U.S. and Kenya which appears to be complicit in
sponsorship fraud. CIs and a recent student applicant have
confirmed that for a fee of approximately $400, the consultant works
with local bank officers to temporarily transfer money into
sponsors' accounts to show sufficient financial support. A
U.S.-based CI states that this same organization helps Kenyans who
are in the U.S. without status to apply for schools for their
children for a fee of $10,000, which likely includes university
applications, interview coaching, and inflation of sponsor bank
statements. The fraud unit will continue to work with Post's
A/RSO-I to build a case against the agency.

5. (U) Post saw recent success with a Facial Recognition hit which
uncovered a Kenyan applicant who had applied under a separate
identity before Post implemented the fingerprinting requirement
(case number 20062482560001). The applicant made elaborate claims
that the person pictured was her sister, but to date has not been
able to produce her sibling who looks identical to the applicant but
was born on a different day. Fraudulently-obtained birth
certificates and national identity cards easily allow applicants to
procure genuine Kenyan passports and other official documents under
assumed identities. Adjudicating officers exercise extreme caution
in all NIV applications involving minors, as we very frequently find
that at least one parent who is currently in the U.S. has been
replaced by an imposter in an effort to lead adjudicators into
believing that both parents are present in Kenya.

-------------------------------------------
IV FRAUD - SOMALIS' TRUE IDENTITIES UNKNOWN
-------------------------------------------

6. (U) IV relationship fraud remains high, particularly in K1, K3,
and IR1 petitions. Unfortunately, given several recent
reaffirmations by DHS of Post's recommended revocations, Post is not
convinced that it can provide sufficient evidence of fraud in many
of these cases. Post has had success with CCD report IVIS Case By
Petitioner. Nairobi discovered that one petitioner had
simultaneously petitioned for two spouses, and Post is now
considering pre-screening applicants with this report. Nairobi is
also using Lexus-Nexus searches to build evidence against alleged
spouse relationships in which the petitioner appears to be divorced
only on paper in the U.S, and continues to share a life with a
U.S.-based spouse while simultaneously petitioning for a second
partner.

7. (SBU) Post remains deeply concerned that for most Somali
applicants, their true identity remains unknown throughout the
immigration process. Until recently, Nairobi has counseled IV
applicants who are undocumented Somalis resident in Kenya to seek
registration as aliens in Kenya so they can obtain genuine Police
Certificates of Good Conduct (PCGC), in order to complete their
applications. Somalis' unwillingness to become documented in Kenya
and in turn their inability to seek genuine PCGCs has halted nearly
80 pending IV cases. Washington recommended that Post seek a
reasonable alternative to the PCGC, and after much consideration and
deliberation, Nairobi has decided to seek affidavits of good conduct
in lieu of PCGCs issued by the Kenyan government in cases where the
applicants have experienced undue hardship in attempting to procure
a genuine PCGC.

------------------------------------------
DV FRAUD - GHOST MARRIAGE, NEXT GENERATION
------------------------------------------

8. (U) Diversity Visa fraud rings in Kenya (Ref C) appear to have
learned a lot from Nairobi's crackdown on fraudulent relationships
in the 2006 DV season. A recent case involved a "pop-up spouse" who
had previously been added to a fraudulent 2003 DV case. The
applicant is now newly-married to a new DV winner. He appears to
have been better prepared this time around, and has included proof
of a joint bank account, joint health insurance, and other
documentary evidence of a relationship. Post believes that
fraudulent 2007 DV applicants will no longer claim years of
relationship with no accompanying proof, but instead attempt to
prove a shorter timeline to avoid having to produce relationship
proof.

9. (U) Recently, one of Nairobi's consular officers met with a
Nairobi-based NGO that has a grant to administer secondary school
examinations and provide certificates to a significant portion of
Somali graduates. Review of documents provided by Somali DV winners
to prove high school equivalency indicated that the vast majority of
Somali secondary school examination certificates presented to us are
fraudulent. In the 2006 DV season, Post noticed that Somalia
applicants attempted to commit look-alike identity fraud with the
greatest frequency, submitting documentation from other applicants,
and building their paper-based identity to resemble the winner. In
one case, both the applicant and the imposter in the same DV case
arrived for interviews on the same day.

---------------------------------------------
ACS and PASSPORT FRAUD - HIGH QUALITY FORGERY
---------------------------------------------

10. (U) A U.S. passport recently recovered by an attentive
housekeeper at a Nairobi hotel turned out to be a high quality
biographic page (and possibly endpage) forgeries inserted into an
otherwise genuine document, similar to ICE Forensic Document Lab
Alert No. 2005A-62 of May 2005. The stolen passport's biographic
page and laminate had been completely reprinted to a very high
standard. Telltale signs of the 1998 Model passport biographic page
forgery detected by the CG and confirmed by the A/RSO-I included a
washed signature line, counterfeit iridescent planchettes hovering
over the biographic writing, poor incorporation of the edges of the
photo-digitized image into the surrounding biographic page, and weak
ultraviolet features. This passport appears similar in style to
others intercepted recently by immigration authorities in Nairobi,
suggesting that Nairobi is still a major transit point for smuggling
Chinese nationals.

11. (SBU) Nairobi scrutinizes cases in which Somali-Americans
attempt to register children born in the region as their own. From
2001 to date, Post has recorded 29 CRBA cases, largely involving
ethnic Somali applicants, in which the applicants have not complied
with our requests for DNA testing to confirm parenthood, leading us
to believe that these cases involve false claims of citizenship.
Nairobi recognizes that most imposters will try to avoid the
consular section completely, and as such A/RSO-I has worked
extensively with airline and airport authorities throughout the
region to catch "look-alike" fraud, which is also often perpetrated
by Somali nationals attempting to smuggle Somali children to the
U.S. Nairobi expects that this trend will continue to increase due
to growing instability and violence within Somalia.

--------------------------
ADOPTION FRAUD ALLEGATIONS
--------------------------

12. (U) A/RSO-I is working with DHS to investigate a CI's allegation
that Kenyan officials are demanding kickbacks in order to process
adoptions. While corruption may be an issue, IR-4 adoptions
continue to be at a standstill in Kenya. IR-3 adoptions have begun
to start again, as the government completes its review of Kenyan
adoption regulations.

---------------
ASSISTING USCIS
---------------

13. (U) Post's fraud unit frequently acts as a resource for domestic
USCIS investigators verifying documents for Kenyans attempting to
change status in the U.S. The majority of document verification
requests continue to include fraudulent divorce decrees. Nairobi
notes with concern that documents "certified" by the Kenyan Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MFA), office of State Counsel, Legal Division
often turn out to be fraudulent. Post has taken the issue up with
MFA in an effort to improve the credibility of these verifications,
but has had no response and witnessed no change in the accuracy of
the State Counsel's verifications.

-------------------------------------------
HOST GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO BE COOPERATIVE
-------------------------------------------

14. (U) Nairobi continues to receive excellent cooperation in fraud
prevention from Kenyan authorities, thanks largely to the efforts of
our FSN investigations assistant. Recently, Post has worked closely
with the Department of Immigration's representatives in the
Registration of Persons office, and received access to GoK national
registration databases. This support from the GoK has helped
Nairobi make headwy in cases where we sspect identity fraud.

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

15. (U) Post believes that Kenyan ports will continue to be a
transit point for third-country nationals attempting to travel on
fraudulent documents. Nairobi also believes that the sophistication
of fraud perpetuated by passport and visa applicants will continue
to increase. As such, Post is considering the purchase of a
powerful anti-fraud tool: the Foster and Freeman VSC4Plus with
Document Imaging Software Suite, at an installed cost of roughly
$33,000. We believe this powerful tool would greatly enhance Post's
anti-fraud posture and would enable us to expand on our anti-fraud
cooperation with host-government authorities.

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

16. (U) The FPU unit includes one full-time FSN, Francis Marawoshe,
and three back-up FSNs with collateral duties. Due to significant
staffing shortages in NIV, the fraud unit remains thinly staffed.
Due to unexpected short staffing among the officers, Post's fraud
prevention efforts at the officer level have also been diminished.
The current Fraud Prevention Manager with collateral duties is
Etienne LeBailly, who received FPM training in December 2005. Post
also has an A/RSO-I with collateral duties.

RANNEBERGER

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