- 2007/10/20 Malaysia to install passport scanners in Europe

More major airports in Europe will have scanning machines to check Malaysian passports and weed out forged documents.

This is aimed at stopping people from using forged Malaysian passports to gain entry into Europe.

The Immigration Department has plans to install the scanners at airports in London, Paris and Frankfurt, which are the common gateways from Malaysia to the rest of Europe.

Yesterday, the Netherlands immigration authorities took delivery of one scanner, which will be installed at the Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, another major European entry point.

Home Affairs Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat said the scanners were needed in countries which Malaysians may enter without a visa.

He said on a recent visit to Amsterdam, he was shown about 30 forged Malaysian passports seized at Schipol.

He said the number of forgery cases was high, although he could not provide figures.

"Malaysian passports are still popular on the black market. Forged passports can be detected but it will take time. With the scanner, it is easier to verify them on the spot," he said after a ceremony on the signing and exchange of documents for the scanner with Joris Demminks, secretary-general of the Netherlands' Ministry of Justice, which oversees immigration and the police.

Dutch ambassador to Malaysia, Lody Embrechts, who was also present, said Dutch immigration officers may have difficulties distinguishing a Malaysian from any Asian.

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