21.03.2011, 12:57

Meeting of Thematic Working Group on Fake and Forged Travel Documents within PCC SEE


The meeting of Thematic Working group on Fake and Forged Travel Documents within PCC SEE took place in Celje in Slovenia, from 15-18 March 2011. The objectives of the meeting were to inform participants about good EU practices in the field of fight against forged and fake travel documents, on the subject various presentations by EU MS and other international organisations were made, and state of play in the field of fight against forged and fake travel documents in the Contracting Parties. Participants also discussed about the Early Warning System for document misuse and the possible establishment of a long term sustainable system.

The meeting started with a welcome and introduction by Mr Anton Travner, Head of PCC SEE Secretariat, who introduced the PCC SEE and its meaning for the SEE region, as well as the prospect for the future of the PCC SEE.  The PCC SEE among other things enables the exchange of information between Contracting Parties of the PCC SEE.

Representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia and Experts from Austria, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Frontex and General Secretariat of the Council of EU attended the meeting.

The introduction of the outcomes of the regional Seminar on Fake Travel Documents held in Zagreb on 9-10 June 2010 was followed by the presentation of the statistics of discovery of fake documents by countries in the previous years and the necessity of common databases, such as PRADO, FADO, IFADO and their accessibility on the internet.

The participants were acquainted with an EU good practice from Slovenia, namely the National Programme for Border Guards for detection of misused documents PROGLIS. PROGLIS is a special four-level programme utilizing the system of police officers multipliers for the training of police officers in the field of detection of fake and forged travel documents. Experience in Slovenia shows a high level of efficiency of this programme and a high level of satisfaction of police officers with this approach to training in this field.

The presentation of Slovenian National Document Portal (PORLIS) followed, which can be found on the police intranet and is accessible to all police departments in Slovenia. This tool consists of information on new genuine documents of other countries and has the option to connect to foreign databases, both from other countries as well as from international organizations (such as FADO, iFADO, PRADO, etc.). It also consists of a forum for opinion and information exchange, used only by the police officers multipliers for a strictly professional use (e.g. discussions about specific documents, cases etc). The portal is still evolving and its development depends on future needs.

The experiences of Austrian Document Adviser Employments in Bangkok Airport (Thailand) and New Delhi (India) were presented with examples of forged, fake and misused documents. Detection of these documents in the place of origin is especially important because of a big production of fake and forged documents in Thailand and India that can circulate to EU and other parts of the world and into the hands of criminals.
The national structures and procedures regarding document examination in Switzerland were presented, followed by the presentation on the organization of the Federal Office of Police in Switzerland, with special emphasis on document fraud and the Coordination Unit for Identity and Legitimation Documents (KILA), which is responsible for maintaining national and international databases of identity and legitimation documents, managing stock of specimens of Swiss documents and advising on main issues on documents, takes part in national and international document working groups, and serves as the point of contact for biometric documents in Switzerland.

A presentation on the trio of FADO systems, expert FADO, iFADO and PRADO was given, which represent a European image archiving system for the purpose of validating, storing and exchanging, by computerised means and within very short periods of time, information which the member states posses concerning genuine and false documents. The most important task of this system is to assure quality and correct translation. Descriptions in FADO system are standardized and readily accessible to the users. Important aspect of the iFADO system is that this is an EU system and it can be only accessed by third countries after all EU Member States agree on that, while PRADO is an open access system available to all.

The meeting continued with the reports on the state of play in the field of forged documents by representatives of Contracting Parties. Representatives from Albania, BiH, Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia presented statistics regarding travel documents misuse and examples of detected false and forged documents in their respective countries.

The evaluation of Early Warning System will be made at the next meeting of TWG, which will take place in September or October 2011.