How Easy is it to Make a Fake Passport?
Many travelers can benefit from having a fake passport when traveling around. A counterfeit document can come in handy if their bag gets stolen or when going through security at the airport; additionally it could help them secure employment or avoid arrest for possessing their real document; however counterfeit documents remain an ongoing problem for law enforcement agencies and this begs the question: How hard is it to produce one of these documents?
Modern passports involve complex technology. Modern passports utilize hologram laminates, watermarks, security threads and inks sold exclusively by authorized printers for production of passports with digital photos printed with holographic overlay. Furthermore, passports feature serial numbers and perforations around their perimeter – making it difficult to create counterfeit versions that fool border officials.
Despite these obstacles, illegal businesses continue to flourish by offering passports and other fake documents for sale. One business in Turkey run by an Uzbek man provides passports to low-ranking IS members fleeing conflict. He also has clients among Afghan refugees displaced by fighting who use his fake documents to board flights to western countries where they can claim asylum once arriving there.
Some countries treat fake passport usage lightly and let offenders go, while other jurisdictions arrest those caught utilizing false documents. Passport fraud can carry significant jail sentences; in the U.S. for example it’s punishable under 18 U.S.C 1542.