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26 May 2017

Fake document detection training by INTERPOL enhances security in Americas

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – Identifying fake documents to enhance border security was the focus of an INTERPOL training course in Costa Rica.

With terrorists and other criminals increasingly using fraudulent travel documents to avoid detection as they cross borders, the three-day (24 – 26 May) course included practical exercises to develop the technical skills needed to spot fake passports and other IDs.

Some 18 Police, immigration and border control officers as well as forensic document examiners were updated on the latest document security features and printing techniques and methods used by criminals to alter travel and identify documents.

The training, delivered by INTERPOL’s Counterfeit Currency and Security Documents unit and examination experts from Regula, also saw participants updated on INTERPOL’s support to member countries in identifying and interdicting individuals, including through the use of its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database and ID Reference Centre.

“To be able to detect a false or forged passport, or any sort of travel document or ID, can make a big difference in terms of national security,” said Gustavo Chinchilla, head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in San José.

“Our region is used as a bridge by fugitives and criminals trying to reach other destinations where they can hide or, in the worst case, attempt against their national security, so the tools, techniques and experience provided by this training are extremely important in preventing this from happening,” added Mr Chinchilla.

The training course also highlighted the potential misuse of identity documents for means other than travel, such as to obtain financial services.

Countries which took part in this week’s training included Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.