16 Aug 2006

Vanuatu notes more attempts to use fake passports

7:20 pm on 16 August 2006

A Vanuatu official says there are more and more cases of mostly Asians using false documentation in a bid to transit Vanuatu.

This comes as the Pacific Forum Secretariat's law enforcement advisor, Shaun Evans, said the whole region is affected by travellers using fake passports.

The first political advisor to Vanuatu's Minister for Internal Affairs and Policing, Joe Carlo, says Vanuatu immigration and border control officials are on alert.

"We had a few cases of Asians arriving using Vanuatu as a transit point, using fake passports. In fact two Asians are in the lock-up in the moment. They were caught in the last two weeks using fake Korean passports to travel out of the country."

Mr Carlo says Vanuatu is trying to get a more stringent border control system and is supported in its efforts by Australia.

He says officials believe the fake papers are produced overseas, but he says they are investigating the matter.