Immigration assures it can detect fake passports

by Raoul Esperas

Posted at Mar 10 2014 06:42 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 02:42 AM

MANILA - Amid reports that some passengers allegedly used fake or stolen passports to board the missing Malaysian Airline Flight MH370, the Philippine Immigration bureau assured the public it has the capacity to thwart the same attempts from those using the country’s airports.

Dennis Opina, immigration head supervisor at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, said they have direct access to any updated data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

He said the DFA data on stolen or fake passports are encoded in the immigration computer system.

The passenger using the fake or stolen passport will be subjected to further investigation, he said.

He or she may also be isolated for intelligence extraction if these cases involve high-profile personalities, including suspected terrorists.

“The immigration and the DFA have direct cross reference system to ensure the rightful owner of the passport,” he said.

Opina added they have access to updated profiles of suspected terrorists from all over the world via inter-intelligence sharing system with different agencies and embassies abroad.

Authorities have yet to resolve the case involving the Malaysian jet, which went missing three days ago. The use of fake passports by at least two MAS passengers have raised a possible terror link to the missing plane.