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Dubai Int’I Airport Apprehends Over 350 Passengers with Fake Passports This Year

In 2023, the GDRFA examined 16,127 documents, identifying 1,232 as forgeries

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 4, 2024, 13:15:47


fake passports in uae, dubai international airport


Between January and March of this year, more than 350 incoming passengers at Dubai International Airport (DXB) were apprehended with fake passports, according to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai. Specifically, 366 individuals were caught using forged passports during this period, up slightly from 355 during the same timeframe last year.

In 2023, the GDRFA examined 16,127 documents, identifying 1,232 as forgeries. Additionally, 443 cases were referred to public prosecution for further investigation and action based on the specifics of each case.

At a press briefing at Dubai Airport’s Terminal 1, a consultant at the Document Examination Centre, highlighted the effectiveness of GDRFA’s systems in identifying fraudulent passports. He pointed out that every counter at Dubai Airports Passport Control is equipped with an advanced machine called Retro Check, which scrutinises suspected fake passports. These machines act as an effective firewall, enabling immigration officers to detect fake passports.

Once a dubious passport is flagged by a control officer, it is sent to the Document Examination Centre for verification. The verification process takes only five minutes, after which a report is sent to the public prosecution.

The consultant emphasised that the GDRFA is “one of the few entities globally with a specialised and accredited centre for document examination.” Unlike many immigration departments worldwide that rely on criminal laboratories, where inspections can take days or weeks, Dubai Airports can verify passports in a remarkably short time.

The GDRFA employs 1,500 passport control officers who handle entry and exit processes, referred to as the first line of defense in document verification. Additionally, there are 30 document examiners, known as the second line of defense, who conduct detailed audits. All staff members are Emiratis.

Legal Consequences

Individuals found with forged or counterfeit travel documents face legal consequences. Those caught departing with such documents are referred to UAE judicial authorities, regardless of whether they were knowingly involved or unwittingly deceived.

Arriving passengers with forged documents are denied entry and promptly returned to their country of origin or handed over to relevant authorities.
The GDRFA also implements special procedures that consider humanitarian factors, recognising that some individuals may have been unknowingly victimised by criminal schemes.

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