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Cablegate: October 2009 Fraud Summary - Prague

VZCZCXRO8281
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHPG #0632 2961303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231303Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1853
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHFT/AMCONSUL FRANKFURT 2441

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000632

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC EZ
SUBJECT: OCTOBER 2009 FRAUD SUMMARY - PRAGUE

1. (U) SUMMARY: Country conditions in the Czech Republic have
reacted to the financial crisis but the Czech financial system
remains relatively healthy. Public debt is low, the current account
is small and manageable, and Czech households have not borrowed in
foreign currency. The small, open, export-oriented Czech real
economy, however, is suffering from a significant drop in external
demand for Czech exports. The car industry, which together with its
suppliers makes up roughly 20 percent of manufacturing, has been
especially hard hit as has the crystal and glass industry. GDP is
expected to contract by between 4 and 5 percent in 2009 and
experience only modest growth in 2010. Unemployment which had
fallen to record lows in the summer a year ago is expected to
continue to increase and could reach 10 percent by the end of the
year. Adjudicators are taking the worsening economic situation into
consideration during interviews, as nationals from several other
countries are employed in the Czech Republic.
A. (U) NIV Fraud: The Czech Republic joined the Visa Waiver Program
on November 17, 2008. According to statistics from DHS, Czechs are
vigorously utilizing VWP - since joining VWP twice as many Czechs
have applied for ESTA authorizations than applied for visas during
the same period the previous (non-VWP) year.
The Czech Republic's accession to VWP has caused Post's applicant
pool to narrow to mostly ESTA refusals, students, summer work and
travel, crew members, petition-based visas and third-country
nationals. Slovaks are the largest pool of TCNs, with Russians,
Poles, Ukrainians, and Vietnamese rounding out the top five. Post
has not observed clear fraud indicators in NIV cases, other than
inflated financials and exaggerated employment.
NIV Validation Study
Third country nationals are a large proportion of Post's NIV
caseload. TCNs are exceedingly prominent in our applicant pool. We
anticipate two large scale validity studies; one focusing on J visa
student travelers issued over the past summer and a second focused
on TCNs. Post now has access to ADIS, text search for FSNs, as well
as commercial tools available. Results will be submitted SEPTEL.
B. (U) IV Fraud
Post has not identified IV fraud.
C. (U) DV Fraud
Post has not identified DV fraud.
D. (U) ACS and Passport Fraud
Post has not identified no ACS or passport fraud.
E. (U) Adoption Fraud
Post processes virtually no adoption cases, none in over 18 months.
F. (U) Use of DNA Testing
Post has not used DNA testing in the past year.
G. (U) Asylum and Other DHS Benefits Fraud
Post has not identified Asylum or DHS Benefits fraud.
H. (U) Alien Smuggling, Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terrorist
Travel
The Consular Section occasionally has applicants that Post believes
may be involved in organized crime. The Consular Section works
closely with RSO, LEGATT and other offices in evaluating suspicious
applicants.
I. (U) DS Criminal Fraud Investigations
The Consular Section has excellent relations with Diplomatic
Security and has referred numerous suspicious applicants. DS has
opened cases on four of them; one has thus far been cleared.
J. (U) Host Country Passport, Identity Documents, and Civil
Registry
The Czech Republic has issued biometric passports since September
2006. These passports meet both EU and ICAO security standards. Post
has not identified any other document fraud.
K. (U) Cooperation with Host Government Authorities
Post has an excellent relationship with host country government
officials.
L. (U) Areas of Particular Concern
None.

THOMPSON-JONES

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