by muhammad anas | Jun 19, 2023

From May 23rd to 25th, 2023, the UK National Crime Agency (UK NCA) organized a workshop on Fraudulent Travel Documents in Hanoi, Vietnam. The workshop was attended by representatives from the ASEANAPOL Secretariat, including Pol. Snr. Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu Ngoc, the Director for Plans and Programmes, Supt. Azrul Hisham Mohd Shaffei, Head of Administrative and Technical Staff, and ASP. Engku Nurul ‘Aini Engku Malek, Plans and Programmes Officer II. Participants in the training course came from law enforcement forces from nine ASEANAPOL member countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The workshop commenced with an opening address by Mr. David Coyle, the NCA Regional Director. Mr. Coyle highlighted the workshop's objectives, which focused on enhancing information and intelligence exchange, developing a regional database on Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLDT) and Fraudulent Travel Documents, implementing effective border security tools and services, and fostering collaboration among the participating countries.

Titled "Fraudulent Travel Document," the workshop was a collaborative effort between ASEANAPOL, the UK NCA, and the National Document Fraud Unit (NDFU). Trainers from the Immigration Specialist Document Examiner at NDFU Immigration Enforcement – UK Home Office, Ms. Natasha Brunning and Ms. Sarah Thomas, delivered the program. The workshop aimed to equip participants with the knowledge to identify illegally created security documents and detect the fraudulent use of genuine ones. It also emphasized the importance of collaboration between government departments, provided training on detecting false documents and impostors, showcased how intelligence from false document detections can uncover and disrupt organized crime groups, and facilitated discussions and communication among the participating countries.

The workshop incorporated theoretical teachings and practical exercises, covering various topics such as security features in identity documents, fraudulently obtained genuine passports, and forgery training for counterfeit documents including visas, substituted pages, and images. Practical sessions were conducted to train participants in identifying different types of document fraud. NDFU experts shared their knowledge and provided training to enhance the abilities of police officers and migration officials in detecting and preventing the use of fraudulent and counterfeit travel documents.

Throughout the three-day workshop, participants gained valuable insights and learned new techniques to effectively detect and prevent the use of fraudulent travel documents. They deepened their understanding of the security features embedded in genuine travel documents and familiarized themselves with the methods employed by criminals to produce deceptive documents. The knowledge and skills acquired during the training will significantly contribute to enhancing border security and ensuring the safety of the ASEAN region. Additionally, the workshop provided a unique opportunity for participants to establish professional relationships with key contacts from various border enforcement agencies in member countries.

The Secretariat expressed gratitude to the UK NCA for their instrumental role in enhancing collective efforts to combat crime and ensure the safety and security of the ASEAN region. The Secretariat also expressed anticipation for advanced training programs targeting law enforcement officers in ASEAN member countries to further address the issue of countering fraudulent travel documents in the future.