We recently received an email from an individual concerned about the validity of Zimbabwean passports issued by the Registrar General’s Passport Office. As per the email below, a friend of the individual was arrested and sentenced for being in possession of a fraudulent passport:
It appears that some passports being issued by the Zimbabwean passport office to Zimbabwean nationals are not valid, despite a proper application being made and everything done “above board” as far as the applicant is concerned. A friend recently tried to use their passport for the first time and was detained by the authorities as the passport had certain “fake” aspects to it. They were accused by the UK authorities of deliberately obtaining a false passport and, as they were unable to prove otherwise are now serving a prison sentence.
My question is how can innocent passport applicants have their passports checked for validity prior to use in order to avoid such prosecutions? Also for people falsely accused of obtaining a false passport, is it possible to gather any evidence of their innocence, given that any corruption within the passport office seems not to be taken into account in such cases?
A number of people have fallen victim to passport counterfeiters working within the Registrar General’s Office and unknowingly travelled using this documentation. As can be seen from above, this can cause a few issues for the innocent travelling public. That being said, does anyone have answers to the questions asked in the email?
- How can people verify the authenticity of a Zimbabwean passport?
- How can individuals charged with unknowingly obtaining a false passport prove their innocence?
If you know the answers to these questions, please post them in the comments section below.