NZ border security loophole exposed by investigation
An investigation involving an illegal immigrant who travelled to and from New Zealand with false passports has exposed an embarrassing loophole in New Zealand’s border security.
Cristian Dario Alcade was living in the country as a New Zealand resident due to his status as an Australian citizen until Australian authorities discovered he was using a false identity and revoked his passport. However, Alcade was still able to board a flight from Auckland to Thailand two months after his passport was invalidated.
The border control loophole allows a person with an invalid passport to travel until the New Zealand authorities have been formally notified of the revocation, Once the ruse was discovered, police in NZ alerted border control authorities in Bangkok, who seized Alcade’s passport on his arrival.
Alcade was deported to his country of origin, Iran, from Thailand, but managed to fly back to NZ using a British passport. He was arrested by detectives from the Organised and Financial Crimes division a week later and charged with using fake passports.
A spokesperson from Immigration New Zealand explained that the authority had not been notified by Australia on Alcade’s passport revocation until a month after he had left the country. She added there was no linked computer system between New Zealand and Australia, and that the accused had been able to re-enter NZ despite new laws allowing the collection of biometric information.
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