BEIRUT, Lebanon – The detection of fake and fraudulent travel documents to boost regional border security was the focus of an INTERPOL training course in Lebanon.
The three-day (9-11 October) course gave law enforcement officers from the Middle East and North Africa the skills and knowledge they need to identify individuals attempting to travel with forged documents.
Border control officers, security officials and forensic document examiners all took part in classroom and practical exercises, learning about the methods criminals use to forge and alter travel documents, as well as sharing their own expertise.
Fake documents, like forged passports, are valuable assets for international criminals and terrorists, who can use them to cross through national borders undetected.
“The increasing level of sophistication and quality of fraudulent documents, in particular passports, poses a serious threat to national and international security,” said Daniela Djidrovska, INTERPOL Counterfeit Currency and Security Documents Coordinator.
This training course, organized by INTERPOL’s Counterfeit Currency and Security Document unit, enabled participants to understand document printing techniques, security features, ink analysis and examination methods so they can spot fraudulent documents.
INTERPOL’s support to member countries in identifying and flagging individuals trying to travel using fraudulent documents was highlighted for participants, in particular the use of the INTERPOL Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database and Dial-Doc platform.
With more than 80 million records, the SLTD database enables officers at borders to determine in seconds if a suspect travel document has been reported as lost or stolen. Dial-Doc contains alerts from countries worldwide on newly detected forms of document counterfeiting, allowing officials in any of INTERPOL’s 192 member countries to compare a suspect document with images on the platform to check if it is fake.
The training programme, in partnership with secured identification service provider SICPA, also briefed participants on printing solutions and methods to improve stamp-based identification at border crossings to enhance the security of travel documents and make them harder to forge.
“Protecting the integrity of identity documents requires data sharing and increased cross-border cooperation,” said Dr Catherine Fankhauser from SICPA. “The learner-centered, participatory approach of this training contributes significantly to regional and global security.”
Participants at the training course came from Cyprus, Jordan and Lebanon.