Statement by Minister Martin on the use of fake Irish passports in Dubai17 February 2010
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micháel Martin T.D, announced this evening that further information has been received from the authorities in theUnited Arab Emiratesconcerning reports of the use of fake Irish passports inDubai. This new information, provided by the UAE to the Irish Ambassador, Ciarán Madden, confirms that the passports used were fraudulent.
The new information also includes additional material relating to the passport numbers. This indicates that genuine Irish passport numbers were used. These numbers correspond to actual numbers on three legitimate Irish passports. However, the identities of the persons recorded on the forged passports do not correspond to those recorded on the valid passports carrying the same numbers.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is urgently endeavouring to contact the three Irish citizens who hold or have held passports containing these numbers. The Minister requested that the privacy of the three individuals concerned be respected.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs regards any activity which would jeopardise the integrity of the Irish passport as extremely serious.
The Minister added “our passport is widely regarded and respected throughout the world as being of the highest quality. We have invested very heavily in extra security features so that our citizens can travel in safety. Actions, which endanger our well earned reputation in this area, have the potential to affect the security of all our citizens travelling overseas. I am determined to maintain the good name of Irish passports. The Department is liaising closely with the UAE authorities and with the Gardaí on the matter.”
The Department, through its Embassies inLondon,ParisandBerlinwill be in contact with the authorities in these countries with a view to working with them in this investigation.
17 February 2010