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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS701 2005-07-07 06:42:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
Cable title:  

PHOTO-SUBBED NEW LITHUANIAN PASSPORTS: A SPOT

Tags:   KFRD CVIS LH 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  UNCLAS VILNIUS 000701 

SIPDIS

FRANKFURT FOR RCO - BARBARA ARMSTRONG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS LH
SUBJECT: PHOTO-SUBBED NEW LITHUANIAN PASSPORTS: A SPOT
REPORT



1. Summary: The Consular Department of the Lithuanian
Foreign Ministry recently informed us that its Embassy in
London has been receiving large numbers of successfully
photo-substituted new Lithuanian passports. According to
the MFA, the photo-substitutions are extremely good and
can only be detected by specially-trained personnel. End
Summary.



2. Forgers have apparently uncovered a weakness in the
security features of the new-generation Lithuanian
passport, which Lithuania began issuing in 2003. The
biographic data page of the passport is a polycarbonate
laser-engraved, laminated card. The Consular Department
explained that this card is made up of seven separate
layers, with the top several layers containing security
features protecting the layer actually containing the
digital photo. Forgers have uncovered a way to slice
along the edge of the card and separate layers without
disturbing the security features in the top layers. They
then insert a laser-printed photo onto a thin film, which
is placed over the existing photo. The layers are then
glued back together. The photo-substitution is virtually
undetectable.



3. The Lithuanian Consular Department reports that the
Embassy in London receives on average 40 such photo-
substituted passports out of 80 in any given week.
Detection is apparently possible with training and using
special equipment. We have asked the Consular Department
for additional information about these fraudulent
documents. We also requested that it provide our staff
with training in detecting these fraudulent documents.
The Consular Department agreed to do so at the earliest
opportunity. We will inform the Department promptly of
any additional information we receive regarding these
photo-subbed passports and their detection.

KELLY