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Aug 30, 2005

200 blank passports stolen from Immigration Dept.

It’s another black eye for a government department that has already suffered more than its share of embarrassment. Sometime over the weekend a thief or thieves broke into the Immigration Department in Belmopan and made off with two hundred blank passports. The theft was not discovered until around midday on Monday and at first it appeared that there was no forced entry into the office. However, according to Director of Immigration, Carmen Zetina, subsequent investigations revealed that a door frame had been dislodged and then pushed back into place to mask the break-in. The passports are the new machine readable type and Zetina believes that to turn them into usable documents will require some high tech forgery…or access to the department’s own equipment. It is understood that police are interrogating a number of employees and the prevailing theory points to an inside job. Also taken was a box of cancelled passports, which while obviously unusable for travel, could be used as simple identification or to obtain a new replacement passport.

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