Made in China

Published: January 13th 2011
in News » World

Chinese Passport Holder

The system you are about to hear might sound a bit fictional, as if it was an espionage story made up in Hollywood, but it isn't: It begins when Chinese immigrants, desperate to get to the Great White North, fly to Cairo, Egypt. There, they acquire a new identity and then board a bus to Taba, a small resort town and the busiest border crossing with neighboring Israel. After crossing to Israel, they head up north to Tel Aviv, where they spend a couple of days until catching a plane to North America. Here is how it works.


Over the last few months, Israel has become a ground for illegal activity, whose roots are in China. According to Yedioth Aharonoth, one of the leading newspapers in Israel, the country has become a transit station for hundreds of immigrants, originating in China and Malaysia. The immigrants infiltrate Israel from Egypt, equipped with high-end counterfeit passports. They then board a plane to Canada in Israel's international airport (Ben Gurion).


At least 10 illegal immigrant where uncovered lately, while trying to flee to North America using a bourne identity. As a result, Israel's Population, Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA), is afraid it will suffer from a reputation lost but moreover, that infiltrators with hostile intentions might also take advantage of the system.


According to a report by PIBA, the infiltrators come bit by bit in small groups of two up to four people and carry false identifications from different countries such as: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Honk-Kong, Singapore, Britain and more. In addition, they try to appear western, even though they hardly speak English. However, every group has at least one who does speak English, a guide, whose job is to help the aliens reach their destination. Apparently, one of the guides has managed to leave and re-enter Israel with different identifications three times.


The immigrants usually come from Cairo, Taba or Amman, Jordan. Each time the story is the same: they all tell the border authorities that they want to visit the Christian holy places in Israel (some even wear crosses on their necks). But, they never see any of the sites, they usually buy a straight ticket to Canada or with a connection in Europe and leave Israel after 3 days.


On November 19, a man and a woman who reached Israel via Taba bought tickets to Frankfurt, but they were returned to Israel by the German border authorities, "without notifying the Israeli authorities" according to PIBA. On December 4, the same couple boarded a plane to Britain, where their false Korean passports were confiscated and once again they were returned to Israel.


Another example is 2 passengers with British passports which were caught by Israel's border authorities on December 2; They were on their way to Canada with Air Canada. Turns out they came to Israel on November 29 and bought flight tickets in Tel Aviv. At their questioning, they admitted that they arrived in Cairo from China (with a stop in Bangkok) with their real passports. There, they switched to the false passports.


"This phenomena hurts our relations with the Canadian immigration office and with other countries in the West," a PIBA representative said, "in addition, some of the infiltrators come from Muslim countries like Malaysia, which we do not conduct any diplomatic relations with".


PIBA director-general Amnon Ben Ami, said in response: "this is another example how the counterfeiters are only getting better with time. Unfortunately, there are too many people who take advantage of Israel's open hospitality and our will to open our gates to the world".


"These incidents hurt the real tourists because they lead to tougher and stricter security measures," he added.

Related articles: (China, Israel, Immigration, Illegal)

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