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Cablegate: Fraud Summary - Poland

VZCZCXRO3677
RR RUEHKW RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHWR #1178/01 3350705
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010705Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9207
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 5084
INFO RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW 2333
RUCNEEC/EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 WARSAW 001178

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR CA/FPP (RBILLINGS)
DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC
DHS FOR CIS/FDNS

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

REF: (A) STATE 074840 (B) STATE 074840 (C) KYIV 01687

WARSAW 00001178 001.2 OF 004


-------------------
Country Conditions
-------------------

1. (U) Although the Polish economy is slowing due to the global
economic crisis, it has proven to be more resilient than other
European economies. After 2008's 4.9 percent growth, Eurostat
predicts Poland's GDP will drop to 1.2 percent in 2009. In
comparison, the EU as a whole is expected to see a 4 percent drop in
GDP.

2. (U) Upon accession to the European Union in 2004, Poles began to
leave Poland for work in countries like Britain and Ireland. This
trend began to slow down over the last two years and may now reverse
as host countries face mounting economic challenges. According to
Eurostat, as of August 2009, the unemployment rate in Poland was 8
percent, slightly under the 9.1 percent EU-wide unemployment rate.
Unemployment rates vary across the country with rural areas
experiencing much higher levels than cities.

3. (U) Poland's failure to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program
represents a significant bilateral irritant, even if the GOP does
not continue to raise the matter. Post continues to engage the GOP
on security-related aspects of VWP membership, including Lost and
Stolen Passport (LASP) and HSPD-6 reporting.

----------
NIV Fraud
----------

4. (U) B Visas: Consular officers encounter very low levels of
material fraud. The fraud primarily involves applicants who do not
disclose previous overstays in the U.S. or who misrepresent the
length of their previous stays. Access to DHS ADIS records has
provided critical information for making accurate visa adjudications
and significantly improved the quality and turnaround time of
validation studies conducted by Mission Poland. Post's most recent
B-visa validation studies indicated a surprisingly low rate of
overstays for Polish applicants (less than 3 percent), a trend
supported by ad hoc evaluations. Approximately a dozen applicants
in Krakow have "forgotten" arrests and convictions that would make
them ineligible under 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). Cooperation with Polish
authorities often reveals such arrests in Poland while IAFIS has
been instrumental in identifying American arrest records. While
there is no indication of an increased trend in these incidents,
Post continues to be vigilant.

5. (U) J Visas: Post has seen a very small number of questionable
J1 Trainee Exchange programs that seem designed to circumvent H visa
requirements, especially in the hospitality and agriculture
industries. While most J1 Trainee Exchange program applicants are
highly qualified, a minority has presented training plans that are
thinly veiled attempts to disguise jobs as waiters, gardeners, or
hotel maids. Post cooperates with Compliance (ECA/EC/CU) to better
monitor and enforce regulations on umbrella sponsoring
organizations.

6. (U) Validation studies indicate the overstay rate for Polish
students participating in the Summer Work & Travel Program is
marginal (approx 1 percent of such travelers do not return to
Poland). Overstay rates for third country nationals applying for J
visas in Poland vary by country of citizenship, and can be
exponentially larger depending on the country.

---------
IV Fraud
---------

7. (U) Warsaw processes all IV petitions in Poland, as well as IV
petitions from Latvia and Belarus. The Department has preliminarily
approved Embassy Riga's request to begin processing IVs. This is
currently scheduled to begin January 1, 2010. Post does not see
significant fraud involving family-based petitions. For the small
number of employment based visa applications that Warsaw receives,
however, there are a significant amount of fraudulent work documents
for alien worker petitions. This is one type of visa that the fraud
prevention unit monitors closely.

---------
DV Fraud
---------

8. (SBU) Warsaw continues to encounter significant fraud in DV
applications from citizens of Ukraine. Approximately 85 percent of

WARSAW 00001178 002.2 OF 004


Ukrainian DV entries are submitted by agencies, often without the
knowledge or permission of the applicant named in the entry. This
often results in mistakes that could disqualify the applicant, such
as not submitting the names of spouses or children. These agencies
then charge lottery winners up to $20,000 for their services, which
sometimes includes the provision of documents to hide such mistakes.
While use of an agency to submit the application to the lottery is
not illegal under the INA, the methods these agencies utilize to
collect debts are of concern to U.S. law enforcement entities.

9. (SBU) The agencies usually use one of three methods to collect
their money from applicants. The first method is coercing the
beneficiaries to work for a company or person connected to the
agency for low wages until the debt is repaid. The second is
requiring the beneficiary to sign a contract in Ukraine promising to
repay the money. In this way, if the beneficiary does not repay the
debt after immigrating to the United States, the agency can use
governmental organs to enforce the contract, usually garnishing
wages or appropriating the property of a co-signer who is still in
Ukraine. The third method involves the agency compelling the DV
winner to marry someone who has paid the agency to be added to a
winning applicant's package. Investigating these so-called pop-up
marriages makes up a large part of Warsaw and Kyiv's fraud
prevention workload.

10. (SBU) In October 2008, the Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) began
using a matrix to pre-screen DV applications. The matrix scores
applications on factors such as agency involvement, divorce and
remarriage in less than three months, whether passports were issued
since the date of the marriage, etc. Cases are then flagged to
alert the interviewing officer to likely lines of questioning. A
matrix score above a certain threshold triggers FPU involvement.

11. (SBU) Post has also seen a growing number of instances in which
agencies have failed to list a DV applicant's dependants on the DV
entry form. Agencies profit from these omissions by charging winners
a fee for the provision of documents to conceal these omissions. In
cases where a legitimate spouse is left off the initial DV entry,
for example, agencies provide fraudulent divorce and re-marriage
certificates. In cases where the principal applicant is not seeking
an immigration benefit for family members omitted from the entry
form, agencies provide false death and divorce certificates to make
it appear that the applicant had no immediate relatives at the time
of lottery entry to avoid 5A ineligibility.

12. (SBU) Warsaw FPU continues to work closely with Kyiv-RSO and
Kyiv-FPU to research cases, share information and track fraud
trends. Recent visits between the two Posts have helped to solidify
this cooperation. This has led to fewer unqualified applicants
actually making it to through the interview process. The combined
efforts have also helped more qualified applicants to proceed
through the diversity lottery process without being coerced or
threatened by these agencies.

---------------------
Polish Passport Fraud
---------------------

13. (SBU) In May 2009, an applicant in Krakow submitted a valid
Polish passport with a false identity and received a tourist visa.
The incident was identified through law enforcement and Krakow
continues to work with the GOP to determine the extent of any
passport or supporting document fraud ring in the consular district.
Krakow will report on the incident by Septel. This single incident
is not likely to be an indicator of weakness in Polish passport
security measures, which Krakow has reviewed. The GOP has been very
open in cooperating on this case, providing fingerprint reviews and
photo identification of the subject, who is in custody in the United
States.

---------------------------
ACS and U.S. Passport Fraud
---------------------------

14. (U) There was only one confirmed ACS fraud in FY2009. It was
an attempt to obtain a CRBA and U.S. passport for a child by an
American citizen who was not the child's biological father. He
legitimated the child, and he was listed as the father on the Polish
birth certificate. However, during the interview he declined to
answer a question whether he was the biological father of that child
and refused DNA testing. The CRBA application was denied.

---------------
Adoption Fraud
---------------


WARSAW 00001178 003.2 OF 004


15. (U) Adoption Fraud: Warsaw has not seen any recent adoption
fraud trends.

--------------------
Use of DNA Testing
--------------------

16. (U) In past years, Warsaw has utilized DNA testing in a limited
number of cases usually involving questions of parentage in the DV
lottery process.

----------------------------------
Asylum and Other DHS Benefit Fraud
----------------------------------

17. (U) Warsaw processes a small number of asylum cases and has no
fraud to report at this time regarding Visas 92/93 cases. Warsaw
does receive a few reports of lost or stolen I-551s and reports
those promptly to DHS.

------------------------------- -------------------------------
Alien Smuggling, Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terrorist Travel
------------------------------- -------------------------------

18. (U) Alien Smuggling, Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terrorist
Travel: Poland is a Tier 1 country and is a source, transit and
destination country for trafficked persons, primarily women and
girls, but to a lesser extent, boys and men. Persons were
trafficked to and through Poland from countries in Eastern Europe,
Asia and Africa. Ukraine continued to serve as the largest source
of persons trafficked through the country. Citizens and foreigners
were trafficked to other EU countries and Israel. The majority of
trafficking victims are for the purpose of sexual exploitation;
however other forms of trafficking for forced labor occurs,
particularly in the agricultural and other economic sectors.
According to the most recent Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report,
Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination
of trafficking, and demonstrated progress in its overall law
enforcement efforts.

19. (U) There is not currently any evidence of patterns of
terrorist travel in Poland. In December 2007, Poland joined the
Schengen zone for all forms of travel. This has allowed for free
travel between Poland and other Schengen countries. Post RSO
therefore regularly monitors travel patterns both within the
Schengen zone and with non-Schengen border countries.

--------------------------------
DS Criminal Fraud Investigations
--------------------------------

20. (U) Warsaw has cooperated closely with Embassy Kyiv in their
investigation of agencies facilitating entry into the DV lottery for
citizens of Ukraine. The ongoing investigation focuses primarily on
domestic U.S. connections and fees paid by winners of the DV lottery
in Ukraine in connection with the services of those agencies. There
are three cases involving DS investigations in Krakow. The first
case is related in paragraph 13 above, the second is a visa fraud
case with a fugitive and the third involves a report of intended
document fraud that is under investigation (both to be covered by
Septel).

----------------------------------- -------------------------
Host Country Passport, Identity Documents and Civil Registry
----------------------------------- -------------------------

21. (U) The Polish government has good control over its national
documents. Post rarely sees illegally obtained original birth
certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, passports, or
national IDs. It is possible to obtain fake diplomas, student IDs,
and proof of enrollment on black markets in Warsaw and Krakow, but
these documents are usually of poor quality and consular staff are
able to recognize them easily.

--------------------------------------------
Cooperation with Host Government Authorities
--------------------------------------------

22. (U) Cooperation with Host Government Authorities: Both Warsaw
and Krakow enjoy good cooperation with Polish border guards,
immigration officials, and local and federal law enforcement.
Traditionally, both FPUs in Poland are in frequent contact with such
officials, resulting in cooperation that leads to reducing visa and
passport fraud. We are, however, frequently unable to provide visa
records to the Polish police for investigations, as the Polish
authorities are unable to give assurances that those documents will

WARSAW 00001178 004.2 OF 004


not be used by prosecutors and other judicial authorities in court
proceedings without our consent.

23. (U) The Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border
Protection Agency established an Immigration Advisory Program (IAP)
at Warsaw's Okecie Airport in September 2004. IAP pre-screens
passengers on direct flights to the U.S. in order to reduce the
number of Polish citizens turned around at U.S. ports of entry
because of invalid visas or previous immigration violations. The
IAP has enhanced cooperation on fraud prevention and deportations of
wanted persons, and has improved our already strong working
relationships with Polish authorities.

---------------------------
Areas of Particular Concern
---------------------------

24. (U) One area of particular concern is Ukrainian DV applicants
being exploited by agencies which charge large sums for processing
and translating applications and related documents, and fraudulently
obtaining civil documents to hide the true family status of
applicants. Embassy Kyiv has launched a vigorous campaign to inform
the population about DV procedures and to educate successful
applicants about avenues to deal with coercion in the U.S.


----------------------
Staffing and Training
----------------------

22. (U) Warsaw's Fraud Prevention Unit is comprised of one
full-time LES staff member, one full-time EFM consular assistant and
one ELO. The IV Unit Chief supervises the FPU, while the ELO, who
is currently in the IV unit, manages the FPU. A new ELO rotates
into this position annually at the beginning of September. Krakow's
FPU consists of one part-time FSI-trained officer, working under the
supervision of the NIV unit chief. The consular section chief is an
FSI-trained FPM and covers the ACS section and major cases. Krakow
has one part-time EFM and one part-time LES dedicated to fraud
prevention.

FEINSTEIN

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