A trainee at the municipality of Utrecht is suspected of having falsified 13 passports.
The suspect, an 18-year-old boy, is said to have falsified the travel documents between October last year and January this year. He has been suspended and is no longer allowed to work in the town hall.
The case started to roll after someone had reported that their passport was wrongly blocked. The man reported to the police, who referred him to the municipality. The passport appeared to have been reported as missing by someone other than the owner. After an internal investigation, the passport fraud came to light.
It was found to be more than one case. The trainee had submitted 13 passports as missing, after which he himself had arranged for the application and issue of a replacement copy. A different passport photo and personal details were placed on the so-called missing passport. He did not disclose to whom he passed on the falsified passports.
The municipality of Utrecht has taken extra measures in response to this case. There is now an extra check when applying for a replacement passport after missing it. The system blockade has also been set up, as a result of which the application for and issue of the passport cannot be carried out by the same employee.
Utrecht is in discussion with the Ministry of the Interior to see whether the working methods and protocols for issuing passports should be tightened up.