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Fake passport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
U.S. CBP zld agent checking the authenticity of a travel document at an international airport using a stereo microscope

A fake passport is a counterfeit of a passport (or other travel document) issued by a nation or authorised agency. Such counterfeits are copies of genuine passports, or illicitly modified genuine passports made by unauthorized persons, sometimes called cobblers.[1] Its purpose is to be used deceptively as if it were a legitimate travel or identity document. A passport obtained from an authorized issuer by providing false information may also be considered fake.

Such falsified passports can be used to leave a country from which exit is barred, for identity theft, age fabrication, illegal immigration, and organized crime.

Other comparable documents include camouflage passports, which are not copies of a valid form of document, but are designed to look like a passport issued by a body that cannot issue legitimate passports, such as "Republic of Mainau", or a "Baltic Trade Mission" diplomatic document. Fantasy passports, such as the World Passport, are passport-like documents issued by non-official organizations or micronations as a novelty or souvenir, to make a political statement, or to show loyalty to a political or other cause.



Adolf Eichmann (high-ranking Nazi often referred to as "the architect of the Holocaust") after the end of World War II traveled to Argentina using a fraudulently obtained laissez-passer issued by the International Red Cross and lived there under a false identity.

Alexander Solonik (Russian hitman in the early 1990s) lived in Greece with a fake passport, which he had obtained from the Greek consulate in Moscow.[citation needed]

In October 2000, Alexander Litvinenko (Russian dissident and writer) fled to Turkey from Ukraine on a forged passport using the alias Chris Reid, as his actual passport was impounded by Russian authorities after criminal charges were filed against him.[citation needed]

In May 2001, Kim Jong-nam, the son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, was arrested at Narita International Airport, in Tokyo, Japan, travelling on a fake Dominican Republic passport. He was detained by immigration officials and later deported to the People's Republic of China. The incident caused Kim Jong-il to cancel a planned visit to China due to the embarrassment caused by the incident.[2]

In June 2005, American actor Wesley Snipes was detained in South Africa at Johannesburg International Airport for allegedly trying to pass through the airport with a fake South African passport. Snipes was allowed to return home because he had a valid U.S. passport.[3]

In early 2020, the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho and his brother were detained in Paraguay while allegedly trying to enter the country with fake Paraguayan passports.[4]


  1. ^ "Language of espionage". SpyMuseum.org.
  2. ^ Kim Jong-Il's Son Makes Pit-stop in Paris to Get Teeth Fixed Archived 2008-01-16 at the Wayback Machine from www.asianoffbeat.com 15 November 2007
  3. ^ IOL.co.za
  4. ^ "Ronaldinho in court in Paraguay over fake passport claims". BBC News. 2020-03-07. Retrieved 2023-11-02.