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U.S. to Give Lost or Stolen Passport Information to Interpol

May 7, 2004

U.S. to Give Lost or Stolen Passport Information to Interpol
May 7, 2004 – According to CNN, the United States will provide information on some 400,000 lost or stolen passports to the world police body Interpol in an effort to keep the documents from being used by terrorists, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

"The United States is joining many other countries in providing current information on issued passports reported lost or stolen to the Interpol lost and stolen document database which is available to border authorities worldwide," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

"We believe this is a significant step in the direction of curbing not only terrorism but also identity theft and other types of identity fraud."

The statement said that in order to protect the original passport holder’s privacy, only the passport number, country of issuance and document type would be provided to Interpol.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble told Reuters last week that most countries fail to supply the Lyon, France-based body with details of stolen passports, suggesting this was a major loophole that had to be addressed to help prevent attacks.

Noble said only 39 of Interpol’s 181 member states were contributing information on stolen documents to its database and only 47 had accessed it so far.

The system enables police and immigration officials to check whether a travel document is stolen by typing its number into a computer. The process takes only seconds via I-24/7, a new, encrypted Internet-based network that Interpol has introduced in 100 countries so far.

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