At least ten passengers on the ill-fated Air India Express flight from Dubai were using fraudulent passports, it was revealed. Police in Mangalore in southern India, where the plane crashed last week killing 158 passengers and crew, have now launched an investigation into every travel document used on the flight.
India’s ambassador to the UAE, MK Lokesh, said 10 passports had been “tampered with”. Irregularities included false addresses and photos that did not match the user. The investigation was initiated when a Dubai resident registered a complaint with the Indian consulate after his passport number and other personal details, including his address, were listed as belonging to one of the crash victims.
May 27, 2010
Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk
The news that such a high number of travelers of an arguably random sample of travelers out Dubai had fake passports, raises serious concerns about Dubai’s security with regards to residents holding fake passports.
Public figures indicate that on average 1,200 fake passport holders are caught in Dubai. However, judging by the figures coming out of the Air India crash, the real figure may in fact be at least ten times this. The issue of fake passports is a particularly sensitive one for Dubai as about 30 fake foreign passports were used by the alleged assassins of the Hamas leader Mahmoud Al Manhouh leading a diplomatic rows between Israel and the nations where passports where faked in. The news that Dubai is in fact home to such a large number of fake passport holders that are able to so easily travel through the airport raises a serious concern about overall security and requires the authorities to address the situation to avoid further outfall and abuse.