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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Beware: New Modus, Fake Passport Extensions In Dubai

The Philippine Consulate in Dubai is warning Filipinos not to resort to fixers offering bogus passport extension or they could land in jail for forgery. Forging or tampering an official document is punishable under the UAE law.

For the past two weeks, there had been reported cases of passports bearing fake stamps and forged consular signature, Consul general Paul Raymond Cortes said. 

The consulate clarified that the passport stamping for extension purposes has been stopped already since January. The only exemption where passport extension can be granted is on medical emergency or death in the family. 

According to the investigation, the spouse/husband of the passport holder paid DH 700 to a fixer, for the fake passport extension.
Consul Ferdinand Flores, whose signature was forged on the passport, said: "obviously it was a scam because the cost of renewing a passport is just Dh240 and an emergency passport extension is just Dh 120. The signature was even stamped and not manually signed on the passport."

Deputy consul general Giovanni Palec said that tampering the passport will not only nullify the passport, but it is also a criminal act. 
Palec added extending the passport is not practical because "even if you extend it, once you pass through the immigration, it will still show that it has already expired... That's why we don't do extensions anymore and besides a new passport can now be issued in three weeks time," he added.

Palec said they will ask the assistance of the Dubai Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this scam. The consular officials will also send their specimen signatures to the immigration.