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Cablegate: Fraud Summary - Cairo

VZCZCXRO4365
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1766/01 2561339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131339Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3588
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 2093
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0003
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1637
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1357

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 CAIRO 001766

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP AND NEA/ELA

DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC; POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS
ATHENS FOR DHS/ICE AND DHS/CIS; ROME FOR DHS/ICE, DHS/CIS, AND
DHS/CBP; NEA/ELA FOR D. MCNICHOLAS; CA/FPP FOR S. SEXTON

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC EG
SUBJECT: FRAUD SUMMARY - CAIRO

Refs: (A) 08 STATE 074840 (B) 08 CAIRO 2483
(C) 08 CAIRO 2562 (D) 09 CAIRO 207
(E) 09 CAIRO 600 (F) 09 CAIRO 1054

1. COUNTRY CONDITIONS: Widespread poverty and a lack of perceived
economic prospects drive a significant number of Egyptians to look
for opportunity outside of their homeland. Boatloads of Egyptians
have been intercepted traveling north across the Mediterranean
towards Europe. Such economic migrants make up a significant
percentage of our visa workload, reflected in our NIV refusal rates
and our significant DV and IV workloads. While the Egyptian economy
has begun to recover under a serious government reform program, many
areas of the country outside of Cairo and Alexandria are still in
abject poverty.

In addition, inter-religious tension, along with economic concerns
and the pull factor of sizeable Egyptian Christian communities in
the United States and elsewhere, has caused some Coptic Christians
to seek to leave the country, particularly those living in the Nile
Valley cities of Minya, Sohag, and Assiut, and in areas of
Alexandria. Though they are estimated at no more than 10% of the
population, we believe that the overwhelming majority of our DV
applicants are Copts. These are generally issuable cases, as
applicants usually hold a genuine high school diploma.

The computerization and centralization of civil documents in the
Civil Affairs Administration (CAA) in Cairo greatly facilitated our
ability to verify birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.
Furthermore, the Immigration Authority keeps thorough records of
travel for all Egyptians - including entry and exit dates and
destinations - since 1992.

The overall level of fraud at post is medium.

2. NIV FRAUD: Business/tourist travelers represent the bulk of the
NIV fraud at post. Religious workers had presented a problem area in
the past, however, with the new petition-based requirement, the
number of issued R-1 visas has dropped significantly. The majority
of R-1 visa applicants are unaware of the new requirement, apply
without an approved petition and are subsequently refused under
221g.
Regarding business/tourist travelers, fraud has centered on the
presentation of bogus documents in order to enhance eligibility for
the visa. The majority of the applicants have been possible economic
immigrants. However, the FPU has routinely been alerted by line
officers to cases of applicants with direct DPT 00 hits. These
cases are referred to the A/RSO-I for further investigation.
3. IV FRAUD: The bulk of Post's fraud investigations involve IV
applications. Instances of IR1 and CR1 marital fraud continue
unabated, with often vulnerable American citizen women meeting
Egyptian men over internet chat-rooms and then coming to Egypt for a
hasty marriage. In the past, the American citizen would then
normally have filed a CR1 petition at post. Despite the fact that
all I-130 petitions are filed with USCIS, there hasn't been any
overall reduction in the volume of such suspect marriage cases.

4. DV FRAUD: The majority of fraud with DV focuses on the bonafides
of the educational and employment qualifications of applicants. In
the past, FPU has uncovered scams involving bogus employment letters
for work as a professional potter, a qualification that would make
the applicant eligible for a diversity visa.

Historically, DV cases from Sudan have had a high level of fraud
with regards to documents such as fake high school degrees.
However, relationship fraud among Sudanese IV applicants is
generally low.

5. ACS AND PASSPORT FRAUD: Imposter fraud has been increasing
especially with transiting passengers at Cairo International
Airport. The FPU is usually alerted by immigration officers from
other western foreign missions who maintain a permanent presence at
the airport. The imposter fraud at the airport has mostly involved
individuals arriving from Ghana attempting to transit Cairo to the
UK using the US passport of naturalized Americans also originally
from Ghana.

The FPU has been investigating a baby trafficking network reported
in refs (B) through (F). Stretching back at least 20 years, the ACS
had refused CRBAs and passports to couples who claimed they were the
biological parents, but were in fact attempting to circumvent
adoption law. The FPU has also found that baby traffickers had
successfully applied for nonimmigrant visas posing as fake parents
to babies they were ultimately taking to the United States to be

CAIRO 00001766 002 OF 003


sold. The FPU is now investigating the possibility that baby
traffickers have used the DV lottery as a means to get newborns to
the United States.

6. ADOPTION FRAUD: Formal adoption is nearly impossible in Egypt. In
addition, gaining legal custody of an abandoned child in a State-run
orphanage is impossible for non-Muslim couples and couples where
neither parent has any family links to Egypt.
7. USE OF DNA TESTING: The IV unit regards Somali, Eritrean and, to
a lesser extent, Sudanese documents with a high degree of suspicion,
often resorting to DNA tests - especially with Eritreans and Somalis
- to establish the presence of genetic family ties.
8. ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFITS FRAUD: The FPU receives requests
for investigative assistance with asylum cases and other DHS
directed cases. Among the documents forwarded for review are medical
reports, certificates of education or experience and proof of
identity. Many of these documents have been forgeries.
9. ALIEN SMUGGLING, TRAFFICKING, ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERRORIST
TRAVEL: Egypt is a destination and transit country for sub-Saharan
African refugees, asylum seekers, and economic migrants. In 2008,
there was an increase in the number of Africans transiting the Sinai
region of Egypt-with the help of local Bedouin smugglers-to
illegally enter Israel, in search of better economic opportunities.
The Government of Egypt has arrested and imprisoned hundreds of
Africans for trying to illegally cross the border, and has shot and
killed twenty-three Africans during attempts to cross the border.

Women and children are trafficked within Egypt for commercial sexual
exploitation. Children are also forced into domestic and
agricultural servitude, but the extent to which internal trafficking
occurs is unknown.

10. DS CRIMINAL FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS: As of August 2007, an ARSO-I
has been assigned to the Consular Section. The ARSO-I reports
directly to the Consul General and the RSO. The ARSO-I works
closely with the Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM) to review all cases
referred to the Fraud Prevention Unit for investigation. The ARSO-I
and the FPM co-supervise two FSN investigators and one FSN fraud
administrative clerk and work with local authorities to have cases
investigated and prosecuted. Cases with a U.S. or international
nexus are given to Diplomatic Security for investigation.

The ARSO-I is the RSO and Consular Section's liaison with other law
enforcement entities at Post and assists with various inter-agency
investigations of mutual interest. ARSO-I works with FPM to enter
fraud-related lookouts and watch phrases into CCD. The ARSO-I also
assists Consular with conducting criminal record checks and
verifying wants and warrants of passport and visa applicants and
other fugitives in country.

The ARSO-I and the FPM share fraud case information with the ICE
Visa Security Unit and other relevant agencies at Post. ARSO-I and
the FPM are part of the Homeland Security Working Group and meet
regularly with ICE VSU and other agencies.

The ARSO-I and the FPM investigated 197 visa and 11 passport cases
that were referred to the Fraud Prevention Unit between March 2009
and August 2009. Confirmed fraud was found in 33 cases. The ARSO-I
and the FPM routinely share the outcomes of FPU-referred cases to
the originating consular officer in weekly meetings and daily
emails.

11. HOST COUNTRY PASSPORT, IDENTITY DOCUMENTS AND CIVIL REGISTRY: In
March 2008, Egypt introduced a new, state-of-the-art, machine
readable, photo digitized passport. The new passport incorporates
material from eight different EU countries. The new passport is
currently being issued only in Cairo.

Egypt also issues state-of-the-art national ID cards that
incorporate several security features. The issuance of both the ID
card and the passport are tightly controlled. In addition, as a
result of the computerization and centralization of civil documents
in the Civil Affairs Administration in Cairo five years ago, birth,
death, marriage, and divorce records are easily verifiable and under
close and constant control.

12. COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES: Cairo FPU enjoys
excellent working-level cooperation with host government
authorities, including Egyptian state security, immigration and
civil affairs officials, Egypt Air managers, and the central
document lab.

13. AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN: As a result of the FPU

CAIRO 00001766 003 OF 003


investigation of the baby trafficking ring reported in refs (B)
through (F), post has found that it is extremely easy for a couple
to have a genuine Egyptian birth certificate issued based only on a
handwritten note from a doctor. In addition, with the birth
certificate a valid Egyptian passport can be issued. Finally, the
Health Offices that issue the birth certificates do not keep the
letters of the doctors.

Because of the concern regarding malafide travelers from and through
Cairo, many western countries have an Airport Liaison Officer (ALO)
stationed at Cairo's airport. The United Kingdom, France, Austria,
Germany and Canada all have (ALOs) at the airport. However, resource
constraints have prevented the FPU from dedicating one, full-time
staff member to the airport. In addition, no other US agency
maintains a presence at the airport. As a result, the FPU has had to
rely on the above ALOs for information on malafide travelers at the
airport. Currently, Delta and Egypt Air operate daily direct flights
to New York's JFK airport.


SCOBEY

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