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Cablegate: Fraud Summary - Windhoek

INFO LOG-00 MFA-00 AF-00 CA-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DS-00
DHSE-00 EUR-00 OIGO-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 MMP-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00 DCP-00 NSAE-00
OCS-00 OIG-00 CAEX-00 PER-00 PPT-00 DOHS-00 IRM-00
SSO-00 SS-00 MR-00 DPM-00 VO-00 NCTC-00 FMP-00
CBP-00 ECA-00 DSCC-00 DRL-00 SAS-00 FA-00 SANA-00
/001W

R 301507Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0793
NVC PORTSMOUTH 0013
INFO SADCC COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS WINDHOEK 000360


For CA/FPP, CA/VO, JOHANNESBURG FOR RCO

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

REF: A) 08 WINDHOEK 183
B) 07 WINDHOEK 318


1. (U) COUNTRY CONDITIONS: Namibia is a developing country with
one of the world's highest levels of income inequality. Namibia has
a population of roughly 2 million, with a low NIV and a moderate ACS
workload. Culturally, there are strong ties to family and clan
identity, as well as a strong sense of national pride. Most
applicants are legitimate travelers who can easily demonstrate ties
to their home country. The level of fraud in visa and American
Citizen Service applications is low. Most fraud is associated with
third country nationals, the subject of a validation study done two
years ago (ref B). There have been cases of fraudulently obtained
permanent residence stamps and other evidence of alleged immigration
benefits in Namibia, but such cases have been rare.

2. (U) NIV FRAUD: Non-immigrant visa fraud is low. Most fraud is
not particularly sophisticated, involving fraudulent employment or
invitation letters. Post conducts spot checks of questionable
supporting documents to detect fraud. There are no significant
fraud patterns in employment-based, student and exchange visitor,
religious workers or other visa types.

3. (U) IV FRAUD: Post does not process Immigrant Visas. I-130
petitions for alien spouses are taken at post and forwarded to
Consulate Johannesburg for processing.

4. (U) DV FRAUD: Post does not process Diversity Visas. Namibia
has a low rate of application and no more than 20 applicants have
interviewed each of the last two DV years. These cases are also
processed in Johannesburg.

5. (U) ACS AND PASSPORT FRAUD: Citizenship adjudication can be
difficult as many American citizens were born to Namibian parents in
the United States and have only children's passports, some of which
expired many years ago. Namibian birth documents are not
computerized, and are theoretically susceptible to fraud. Documents
are verified with government authorities in cases where suspicious
documents or other fraud indicators are encountered; within the past
six months, there have been no cases of confirmed fraud.

6. (U) ADOPTION FRAUD: Adoption by foreigners is rare in Namibia;
only a few adoptions by foreigners have occurred over the past five
years. Adoptions can take place if a foreigner obtains permanent
residence in Namibia, or if the foreigner receives exceptional
permission from the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare
and the Minister of Home Affairs. The additional scrutiny given to
foreigners seeking to adopt has generally discouraged fraud.

7. (U) DNA TESTING: DNA testing is rarely used. IVs are not
processed at this post, and most citizenship cases can be resolved
without resorting to DNA. A few citizenship cases have been
referred to DNA when the father was an American citizen seeking to
transmit citizenship to a child born out of wedlock to an alien
mother. In such cases, the father may have had little or no contact
with the mother since before the child's birth. Verifying the
relationship is difficult as the standards of the law go beyond a
"preponderance of the evidence" for such cases; thus, DNA testing
can be a useful tool.

8. (U) ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFIT FRAUD: Post has not detected
fraud in Asylum or other DHS benefit cases in the past year. Post
has processed only one follow-to-join case, which was approved, and
contained no fraud detectable by the adjudicating officer.

9. (SBU) ALIEN SMUGGLING, TRAFFICKING, ORGANIZED CRIME AND
TERRORIST TRAVEL: The U.S. Embassy has not encountered organized
efforts of this type. There have been no submissions from post to
the Visas Viper program in the past six months. Consular
representatives from the European Union (EU), specifically Germany
and France, have noted attempts to obtain Schengen visas via false
identities for purposes of smuggling illegal diamonds; however, they
confirm no incidents in which the perpetrators of this fraud
presented false U.S. visas or other fraudulent U.S. travel
documents.

10. (U) DS CRIMINAL FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS: Post has no on-going or
completed fraud investigations for this reporting period which were
referred to the Regional Security Officer (RSO). Windhoek is a
small post. In the midst of an investigation, Conoff and RSO would
communicate regularly person-to-person. At the conclusion of an
investigation, the RSO would write a formal summary of the
investigation and findings for Conoff's review and comment.

11. (U) COUNTRY PASSPORT, IDENTITY DOCUMENTS AND CIVIL REGISTRY: In
February 2009, Namibia introduced a new machine-readable passport
with a laminated face page, as well as a fluorescent reproduction of
the face page along with all bio-data, which is printed opposite the
face-page and only visible under black-light. The fluorescent
printing is a new security feature. Within the next year, the
government expects to begin issuing passports with computer chip
technology similar to U.S. passports.

12. (SBU) Recently Canadian authorities reported cases of Nigerian
nationals attempting travel to Canada on false Namibian passports,
in order to exploit the Temporary Resident Visa waiver granted to
Namibian nationals. While the use of these false passports was not
apparently intended for travel to the U.S., post has noted their
availability for Namibians or third-country nationals who may wish
to apply for an NIV under a false identity. Post has initiated a
precautionary fraud prevention procedure, checking all newly issued
passports with black-light. Thus far, no false Namibian passports
have been detected at post.

13. (U) Marriage and birth records still are not computerized or
centrally stored, and are usually hand-written; thus, they are
susceptible to fraud. Until recent years, many births in Namibia
were never registered. Now all births which occur in a hospital are
registered on-site, and these registrations must be taken by the
family to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration in order to
process official birth certificates.

14. (U) COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES: The Namibian
government is generally responsive and helpful in dealing with
matters of fraud, though the cooperation is often limited by the
rudimentary nature of their information systems. Immigration
records are not computerized. The Namibian government is
computerizing citizenship records, but the process is proceeding
slowly. Post has received good cooperation in its requests for
verification of civil documents.

15. (U) AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN: Namibia has extensive land
borders with South Africa, Angola, and Botswana. Weak immigration
controls at these borders outside of official checkpoints make
Namibia a potential destination for transit of mala fide travelers.
Third country nationals comprise roughly 20 percent of the applicant
pool at any given time (23% over the last six months), and the
refusal rates are higher for these nationals. Post's last
validation study (ref B) showed overstay rates below 5 percent for
almost all third country nationals. Some Namibians have been the
victims of e-mail scams promising a visa and/or jobs in the United
States. Such schemes are generally unsophisticated, but some have
closely duplicated DV notifications or other official USG
correspondence. The last six months has seen a downturn in this
type of scam as awareness has heightened among the general public;
many recipients of such e-mails or letters now call or write the
U.S. Embassy to verify the correspondence.

16. (U) STAFFING AND TRAINING: Post has a single Consular Officer
who also serves as Global Affairs Officer, covering issues related
to environment, nature and wildlife conservation, and refugees.
Post also has one full-time LES Consular Assistant and a part-time
EFM assistant. No Consular staff members have participated in
training specifically focused on fraud prevention in the last two
years.

HARRINGTON

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