Wednesday, September 29, 2004

NZ/Israel: Passport Fraudsters Gone, But Diplomatic Sanctions Remain 

As I mentioned here in July (and also posted at The Head Heeb, where the comments were far more extensive), feathers in New Zealand and Israel have been ruffled over the case of two Israeli citizens who attempted to fraudulently obtain NZ passports. The NZ government has accused the men of being spies seeking false travel documents for use on assassination missions, and the Israeli government (and the men in question) have insisted that the men were gangsters, not Mossad agents.

For those of you intriguted by this incident, the BBC and New Zealand Herald have more on the story today: the men accused of trying to illegally obtain the passports (though not, as the Herald suggests, of "spying in New Zealand") have been deported after serving one third of their six-month jail sentences. Israel still says they aren't Mossad agents, and New Zealand has not removed its diplomatic sanctions on Israel.

The BBC article also features this picture of one of the fraudsters, which should be helpful in identifying him in case he tries to forge YOUR passport:

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