Various regional dailies, 31 March 2012: 'Hardly any passport fraud'
“Dutch passports are hardly used for passport fraud anymore. This involves a few dozen passports a year, while thousands of other types of fake identity documents are intercepted every year by the Royal Military Police and others.
In 2010, fewer than 35 Dutch passports were seized that were either forged or fraudulent. The total number of forged documents found has been falling since 2004. The Annual reports of the Identity Fraud & Documents Expertise Centre (ECID), the investigation agency of the Royal Military Police based at Schiphol Airport.
Also noteworthy is the small number of Dutch passports that have been used for identity fraud. This involves a person using someone else's passport that is still valid. In 2008 and 2009, this was observed less than 30 times, in 2010 only eight times. The figures are grist to the mill for the Privacy First foundation, which had asked the ECID to make the reports public. According to lawyer Vincent Böhre of the civil rights organisation, the figures show that identity fraud "is not a big phenomenon at all". Since September 2009, it has been compulsory to store fingerprints in Dutch passports. Böhre: "The government has argued for years that such a biometric passport was necessary to combat large-scale identity fraud. Now it turns out that this fraud plays practically no role."
According to Böhre, the reports also make it clear that the House of Representatives was lied to in early 2010 about identity fraud by the State Secretary of the Interior at the time, Ank Bijleveld (CDA). "The state secretary told the House replied that no such figures are known. But the figures were kept by ECID for several years even then."
Bijleveld is now the Queen's Commissioner in Overijssel. Storing fingerprints and a facial scan in passports is still being challenged by citizens at the Council of State, the highest administrative court. The hearing of this will begin on Monday."
Source: Dagblad van het Noorden (p. 5), Twentse Courant Tubantia, De Stentor / Apeldoornse Courant, Deventer Dagblad, Dagblad Flevoland, Gelders Dagblad, Nieuw Kamper Dagblad, Sallands Dagblad, Zutphens Dagblad, Veluws Dagblad & Zwolse Courant, 31 March 2012, Interior section.