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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MEXICO944 2009-04-01 13:01 2011-02-17 12:12 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Mexico
Appears in these articles:
DE RUEHME #0944/01 0911319
R 011319Z APR 09
2009-04-01 13:19:00
Embassy Mexico
DE RUEHME #0944/01 0911319
R 011319Z APR 09

E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: A) MEXICO 398 B) MEXICO 1296 
1.  SUMMARY:  During the six months from September 2008 to February 
2009, Embassy Mexico City's Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) focused on 
the detection of fraudulent documents, the identification of 
prominent purveyors of fraudulent materials, and training in fraud 
detection and interviewing techniques in order to decrease the 
likelihood that mala fide travelers gain access to the United 
States.  END SUMMARY. 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
2.  High poverty and limited economic opportunities in Mexico make 
the prospect of living and working in the United States, legally or 
illegally, very attractive to many Mexicans and third country 
nationals (TCNs) in Embassy Mexico City's consular district. 
Fraudulent Mexican identity documents and employment documents are 
relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain.  Numerous "coyotes" are 
readily available to provide their services - sometimes at an 
exorbitant cost to applicants.  Fraudulent Consular Reports of Birth 
Abroad (CRBAs) and passport applications are a continuing problem. 
As a result, fraud is considered medium-to-high at post. 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
3.  As one of the busiest Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) units in the 
world, Mexico City processes between 1,500-2,000 visas on a daily 
basis.  As such, officers routinely encounter fraudulent documents. 
In order to demonstrate strong ties to Mexico and to overcome the 
presumption of immigrant intent under Section 214(B) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), applicants frequently present 
various fraudulent documents, to include employment documents, bank 
statements, professional credentials, and even legal identification. 
 In this reporting period FPU has seen various fraudulent employment 
and business documentation, as well as genuine identity documents 
with false information. 
4.  At least one FPU investigator is stationed in the NIV unit at 
all times, to answer factual questions about Mexico, check possibly 
fraudulent documents, ask several quick questions of an applicant, 
or to conduct a more extensive investigation into a suspect case. 
In certain visa classes, FPU pre-screens companies and applicants. 
5.  In cases that cannot be quickly resolved, NIV officers and 
investigators have found the "Refer to FPU" function an effective 
tool in combating fraud.  After the officer refers the case in the 
NIV system, the FPU investigator conducts an investigation, enters 
case notes, and then passes the case back to the officer to 
adjudicate.  This process adds to efficiency and accountability. 
Total Cases referred to fraud - 298 
Cases confirmed fraudulent - 129 
Cases no fraud found - 167 
Pending investigations - 2 
FPU also handled 2,576 minor NIV cases this reporting period. 
6.  This post encounters fraud in virtually all visa classes.  The 
most prevalent types of fraud are detailed below. 
a.  TOURIST AND BUSINESS VISAS:  On occasion, the fraudulent 
documents and questionable stories officers come across on the visa 
line lead to FPU investigations that uncover a higher, and at times 
more sophisticated level of fraud.  Many of these cases are part of 
several wide-spread fraud trends that FPU repeatedly encounters. 
i.  "COYOTES":  FPU carefully monitors the activities of "coyotes," 
individuals and businesses that often offer "guaranteed" visa 
issuances to their clients.  Through painstaking record-keeping and 
surveillance of these agents, who often accompany their clients to 
the Embassy and wait for them outside, FPU has been successful in 
discovering their methods and building cases against them.  When 
possible, FPU will take aside applicants using the services of a 
coyote and interview them separately in order to ascertain how much 
they paid the coyote, what promises the coyote made, and if the 
coyote supplied the applicant with fraudulent documents and coaching 
for the interview. As a result of the information gathered through 
such investigations, a number of coyotes have had their visas 
revoked under Section 212(a)(6)(E) of the INA and some have been 
turned over to the Mexican legal authorities. 
ii.  "CONSULTANCY" SERVICES:  In a recent case, FPU investigated a 
local business purporting to assist Mexicans interested in applying 
for Nonimmigrant Visas.  The business had its main office in the 
Sheraton Hotel next door to the Embassy.  Using text search, FPU 
MEXICO 00000944  002 OF 009 
linked the owners to 10 cases in which fraudulent employment 
documentation had been presented.  Former clients provided sworn 
affidavits stating that they had been charged upwards of 18,000 
Mexican pesos (approximately 1,228 USD) for fraudulent employment 
packages, which FPU used to support a revocation of the business 
owners' visas under INA Section 212(a)(6)(E). 
Undeterred, the business owners are in the process of moving their 
business to a street behind the Embassy.  FPU has documented several 
recent cases in which the owners charge the equivalent of 250USD in 
order to schedule an electronic U.S. passport appointment.  In at 
least one case, the business has refused to return U.S. birth 
documents to their client unless they are paid a large sum.  FPU is 
currently working with Regional Security Office (RSO) and the local 
Mexican authorities to prosecute the business owners. 
iii.  VISAS FOR RENT:  Recently, post has identified a fraud trend 
that involves teachers "renting" their visas to friends or 
acquaintances, who are also often teachers or posing as such.  In 
one case, the officer noticed that the male applicant was 11 years 
younger than his purported wife, a rare occurrence in Mexico.  The 
applicant presented his genuine school teacher credentials, the visa 
of his supposed wife, and a fraudulent marriage certificate.  The 
applicant admitted to FPU that he had paid a coyote 5,000MXP 
(approximately 400USD) for the fraudulent package, and he was to pay 
5,000MXP more if the visa was issued.  The woman who "rented" her 
visa had her visa revoked under INA Section 212(a)(6)(E). 
consular section continues to monitor closely any case involving a 
minor with the code "4.1" in his/her passport.  FPU previously 
convinced Mexican passport officials to include this code to 
indicate when parental permission to issue a passport was given from 
abroad.  90 to 95% of these types of cases involve a minor with one 
parent living illegally in the U.S.  In a recent FPU visit to the 
Civil Registry in the state of Michoacn - the largest immigrant 
sending state in Mexico - FPU was informed that a full 30% of minors 
applying for passports have a parent living abroad. 
v.  ADOPTIONS "A LA MEXICANA":  FPU often encounters cases that 
involve a particularly Mexican phenomenon: adoptions "a la 
Mexicana."  In these cases the biological mother informally agrees 
to give (or sell) her child to an interested third party, usually an 
acquaintance or a family member, thus circumventing adoption law. 
Often the receiving party has been unable to bear children, or 
simply wants to assist a friend who is otherwise unable or unwilling 
to care for the child. 
In a recent case on the visa line, a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) 
mother applied for an NIV for her newborn.  After noting the 4.1 
code in the child's passport, the officer was told by the mother 
that she and her LPR husband live in Los Angeles, CA but that she 
returned to Mexico to give birth.  This unusual story, coupled with 
the fact that the mother would have been forty-seven years old at 
the time of birth and had no other children, prompted the officer to 
refer the case to FPU.  The woman admitted that her cousin had put 
her in touch with a woman who was considering an abortion, as she 
had conceived while her husband was living in the U.S.  The woman 
enlisted the help of a doctor in Michoacn to ensure that her name 
was on the birth documentation.  The child was refused 214(b) and 
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at post was alerted to the 
b.  GROUP INTERVIEWS:  FPU Mexico City continues to closely monitor 
applicants who apply in groups. There appears to be a widely-held 
belief in Mexico that such visas are easier to obtain than those 
that are applied for individually.  Once NIV has scheduled an 
appointment for a group (groups may include municipal employees, 
school groups, athletes, etc.), the case is sent to FPU.  Family 
members are not accepted as part of the group unless they can prove 
their presence is absolutely necessary to the group. In groups with 
young children, however, this rule is relaxed to take into account 
their special circumstances. 
For all groups, an FPU investigator assesses the proposed trip and 
runs the names through CCD. If the group seems to be legitimate, the 
applicants will continue with their interview as usual.  If FPU has 
suspicions about a particular group or individual, FPU alerts one of 
the three officers who conduct group interviews.  The officer then 
refers the entire group to FPU after enrollment where an 
investigator interviews members of the group to determine the 
existence of fraud. 
Currently the NIV unit in Mexico City is working to schedule all 
group appointments through Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in 
partnership with Teletech (an appointment call center) - as most 
other visa appointments are scheduled.  FPU has ensured that all the 
MEXICO 00000944  003 OF 009 
information used in the pre-screening process will still be readily 
accessible to investigators. 
The most common fraud found in groups occurs when applicants who are 
not legitimate members of the group pose as such.  This phenomenon 
is particularly common with student groups (siblings or children of 
teachers being added as "students" when they do not attend the 
school) and cultural groups (non-performers who are friends of the 
director or legitimate member).  In one recent case, a group of 10 
and 11 year olds was traveling to Texas to play in a football match. 
 However, the consular officer noted that one of the children was 
considerably older than the rest of the group members.  After 
questioning, the coach admitted that the applicant was not a 
legitimate team member but actually a brother of another player.  In 
an interesting twist, the coach had an IAFIS hit from 2003 for 
theft.  Given serious doubts on the ultimate motives and credibility 
of the coach, the entire team was refused under INA Section 214(b). 
c.  EMPLOYMENT VISAS:  Mexico City interviews applicants in almost 
all employment visa categories.  The types of prevalent fraud vary 
by visa class. 
i.  E VISAS:  Generally speaking, E visas are not a large source of 
fraud.  The most common type of fraud occurs when an applicant has 
abused his tourist visa prior to requesting E status.  In one recent 
case a family of four applied for E-2 visas.  The father had 
established a school in Illinois several years before, and said that 
he had been traveling between Mexico and the U.S. on his tourist 
visa while managing the school.  He said that the rest of his family 
had been living in Mexico, and that they had last visited the U.S. 
several months earlier.  The son's fingerprints, however, revealed 
that he had been arrested for underage drinking in Illinois only 
weeks before the interview.  The father and son confessed that they 
had been living in the U.S. for the past six months, and that the 
son had enrolled in school.  The officer refused the family's 
application for E visas, and revoked the tourist visas of the father 
and son. 
ii.  H1B AND L VISAS:  Though H1B and L visa approval rates are very 
high, Mexico City has persistent fraud problems in these categories. 
 Most of the fraud arises from the fact that many of the applicants 
are looking for a way to immigrate to the U.S.  While dual intent is 
allowed in these visa categories, the most common forms of fraud 
arise when the applicant's sole intention is to reside in the U.S. 
permanently.  Applicants will overstate experience, education, or 
future job responsibilities in efforts to bolster their 
applications.  They will also misrepresent previous employment to 
conceal periods of illegal presence in the U.S. and/or to hide the 
fact that - for L visas - they do not have the requisite one year of 
work abroad in the previous three years.  Individuals may also set 
up shell companies as a means to live in the U.S.  The most common 
false documents presented at the interview or in petition packages 
submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services 
(USCIS) are false pay receipts.  On occasion, applicants present 
false educational or professional credentials. 
In a recent case, a family with a one-year L-1 "new office" visa was 
refused a renewal visa as the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) field 
research cast serious doubts on their business activity.  The 
applicants were unable to physically describe their purported office 
building and there were many inconsistencies in their business 
registration.  The officer refused the cases under INA Section 
221(g) and submitted a petition revocation to USCIS. 
iii.  H2B VISAS:  FPU works closely with the groups team in 
processing H2B applicants.  Prior to the interview, the Fraud 
Prevention Manager (FPM) vets petitioning companies by checking PIMS 
for adverse field memos, verifying employer location using 
LexisNexis, and by consulting the H2B watchlist of fraudulent 
companies that is published by the Consulate General in Monterrey. 
The H2B-dedicated investigator conducts text searches in the 
Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) to ascertain whether the 
petitioning company has applied at other consulates.  If any adverse 
information is found at this stage it is sent to the H2B 
adjudicating officers for their review.  Additionally, on the day of 
the interview the investigator pre-screens the applicants by 
conducting spot "pre-interviews."  If fraud is suspected, the 
investigator will work with the officer to offer support during the 
There are two major areas of fraud consistently encountered in H2B 
applications.  The first concerns prior illegal presence in the U.S. 
that an applicant refuses to disclose.  IDENT and IAFIS results 
often tell a different story than what the applicant reports. 
Officers have noticed a recent trend in which applicants with years 
of H2B visa experience attempt to cross illegally in between 
MEXICO 00000944  004 OF 009 
applications.  Many of these applicants report that they feared that 
they would be unable to secure a petition in the future, given 
concerns over the future of the H2B program coupled with fears about 
the economy. 
The second major area of fraud occurs when an applicant has misused 
a prior visa by working for a different company.  Post has noticed a 
recent related trend in which companies no longer able to petition 
for workers or who have had fraud issues in the past enlist the help 
of partner or shell companies to petition for workers who will in 
reality work for the first company upon arrival.  In a recent case, 
a large proportion of almost one hundred workers who had been 
previously refused under INA Section 221(g) at the Consulate General 
in Monterrey applied at Mexico City.  After liaising with Monterrey 
on the case, post discovered that the workers had been petitioned by 
a hospitality company that was in fact a shell for a company with an 
extensive history of fraud problems.  The otherwise qualified 
applicants were refused under INA Section 221(g) pending a review of 
their petition. 
With the support of H and L funds, FPU engages in various outreach 
initiatives in order to educate the Mexican public on the H2 
program, with an end goal of debunking myths and protecting workers' 
rights.  Recently, two FPU investigators traveled to the state of 
Michoacn where they presented on the H2B program at a workshop on 
migration issues sponsored by the Mexican Immigration Secretariat. 
Over 120 people attended, with participants from 90 municipalities 
(mostly former migrants and/or LPRs) as well as representatives from 
other Mexican government agencies and U.S. law firms. 
iv.  PERFORMER VISAS:  There are generally two kinds of performer 
visa fraud - fraudulent applicants (usually hidden within a 
legitimate group) and applicants who previously abused their tourist 
visas by performing without a P1 visa.  As with other group visa 
applications, FPU vets P1 applicants prior to the interview. 
In a recent musical group case an applicant applied for a P-1 visa 
as a road manager.  An IAFIS hit revealed that the applicant was 
arrested for forgery in 2007.  When questioned, the applicant denied 
he had ever been to the U.S.  However, the applicant's passport 
indicated that he had just returned the day before from overseas. 
Finally, the applicant confessed that he was not part of the musical 
group and was really just a friend of one of the artists.  The 
applicant was refused under INA Section 9(B)(2). 
v.  RELIGIOUS VISAS:  Before the advent of the petition-based R 
visa, fraud was commonly encountered. Drawing on specialized 
knowledge, FPU investigators are able to recognize fraudulent 
religious credentials and have on occasion discovered completely 
fake ministers, priests, and nuns. 
In recent months, officers have interviewed applicants with approved 
petitions - all of whom have been well qualified.  R officers 
received training on religious workers from the Church of Latter Day 
Saints - a denomination that sends many applicants to the U.S.  With 
this training, the officers are now more confident in their 
vi.  TN (NAFTA) VISAS:  Most TN visa fraud cases involve applicants 
who present fake "cedulas profesionales" (legal proof of a 
professional degree), have overstayed their tourist or other visas 
in the past, and/or whose job duties differ greatly from those 
listed on the job letter. 
Mexico City requires all TN applicants who are applying for 
professional employment that requires a four-year degree (per 
Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA) to present a "cedula profesional."  The 
ability of consular officers to verify the authenticity of "cedulas 
profesionales" on Mexico's Education Secretariat's website has 
proven invaluable in detecting fraud. 
Some TN applicants have flagrantly overstayed their visas in the 
past.  There have been several families who had been working and/or 
going to public school on tourist visas who then attempted to get a 
TN visa to regularize their status. 
One major problem concerns discrepancies between the real job duties 
and the job duties stated in the job offer letter.  Applicants 
either exaggerate the scope of their responsibilities or completely 
fabricate their duties in order to make them "fit" more easily 
within a TN profession.  Given that there are only two categories of 
TN jobs - Scientific Technician and Management Consultant - that do 
not require a "cedula profesional," FPU has noticed that many 
applicants who are not professionally titled often misrepresent 
their job duties in order to qualify under one of these two 
MEXICO 00000944  005 OF 009 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
7.  Mexico City does not process immigrant visas. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
8.  Mexico City does not process diversity visas. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
9.  Mexico City FPU investigated 86 passport and CRBA cases during 
this reporting period (49 major, 18 minor), as well as 19 other 
American Citizen Services (ACS) cases (most often LexisNexis 
searches to locate next of kin). 
10.  With the implementation of the air phase of the Western 
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the ACS unit saw a significant 
increase in passport applications.  As the June 1, 2009 
implementation date for the land and sea phase of WHTI draws near, 
post expected a similar up tick in passport demand, given that land 
travel is often the preferred method of entering the U.S. from 
Mexico.  However, in recent months passport applications slowed and 
are now just beginning to increase.  To date, the bulk of the 
passport application demand consists of minor children who have 
traveled to Mexico from the U.S. without travel documentation. 
These children have often been sent back to Mexico by parents who, 
documented or not, remain in the U.S. to work.  Many of these 
children return at a very young age, often only days old, which 
precludes the existence of any U.S.-based documentation other than a 
birth certificate.  Passport officers are insistent on seeing as 
much documentation surrounding the pre-natal care and birth of these 
children in the United States as possible before approving such 
11.  A further complicating factor in these cases is that often the 
U.S.-born child will later obtain a birth certificate in Mexico, as 
many schools require Mexican birth registration in order to enroll. 
This phenomenon leads to many inquiries from USCIS adjudicators in 
the U.S. who have questions about these seemingly fraudulent double 
birth registrations.  FPU verifies that the Mexican birth 
registration occurred after the U.S. birth certificate was issued by 
liaising with local civil registry contacts. 
12.  When post encounters a midwife instead of a doctor on a U.S. 
birth certificate, the officer consults the electronic Suspect Birth 
Attendant (SBA) List found in the Fraud Library section of PLOTS. 
Regardless of whether the midwife is on the list, the officer will 
often ask for extensive documentation of the birth.  However, such 
cases often occur many years after the fact, and the documentation 
may be inconclusive.  In these cases, FPU works to resolve the case 
at post through targeted interviews with the parents. 
13.  Post continues to see cases in which individuals apply for 
passports and/or CRBAs for minors who are not their biological 
children.  In a recent case, a naturalized Philippine mother and a 
Mexican LPR father who normally reside in CA applied for a CRBA and 
passport for their four-year old son.  They stated that their son 
was born in Mexico and presented a Mexican birth certificate.  After 
questioning, the parents admitted that the child was in fact not 
their biological son and that he was sold to them for 2,000USD by a 
friend who was planning on having an abortion.  They stated that 
they collected the child at a hospital in Sacramento, CA and had not 
seen the birth mother since and thus had no U.S. birth documentation 
for him.  They acquired a report of birth from a hospital in 
Michoacn and then applied for a Mexican birth certificate, for 
which they paid 1,100 MXP (approximately 95USD and far more than the 
normal cost).  Unable to determine the citizenship of the child, the 
officer refused the CRBA and passport applications.  FPU worked with 
DHS at post to enter lookouts on the parents. 
14.  Mexico City has seen a number of imposter cases where an 
applicant applies for a passport at post but a passport under the 
applicant's professed identity has already been issued to a 
different person.  Whether the person is a victim of identity theft 
or has given or sold his/her ID documents is difficult to determine. 
 Usually the original fraud has occurred in the United States and is 
not discovered until years later.  In these cases FPU works with the 
Assistant Regional Security Officer for Investigations (ARSO-I) to 
initiate U.S.-based investigations where appropriate. 
15.  In one such recent case, an applicant presented his U.S. 
passport issued in 1998 during a renewal interview at post in 
November 2008.  In 2006, a man claiming the same identity applied 
for a passport in the U.S.  Diplomatic Security (DS) undertook an 
MEXICO 00000944  006 OF 009 
investigation as the subject claimed to be a first time applicant 
and his identity documents were recently issued.  DS decided that 
this man was the true owner of the identity; he was issued a 
passport in 2007.  The investigation notes stated that the subject 
served time in jail from 2002-2003.  He said he did not know the man 
who was issued a passport in 1998.  Interestingly, the man who 
applied at the Embassy in November 2008 said that he met the man who 
was issued a passport in 2007 in jail, as they were cell mates.  The 
November 2008 applicant never returned to the Embassy with further 
identity documentation, and was thus refused as a suspected 
16.  On occasion, ACS is confronted with cases in which it is 
extremely difficult to verify U.S. citizenship.  In one recent case, 
a man approached a consular agency office and claimed to be a 
destitute American citizen.  At the Embassy the man could not 
provide contact information in relation to a repatriation process. 
FPU conducted a LexisNexis search which did not return relevant 
information on the subject who claimed to have lived his entire life 
in the U.S. and who spoke English quite well.  The man refused to 
leave and was eventually escorted out of the Embassy by U.S. Marines 
and RSO personnel who needed pepper spray to subdue him.  The 
following day the man approached a local non-governmental 
organization (NGO) that assists American citizens in order to 
request a bus ticket to the U.S. border.  The NGO contacted the 
Embassy and ACS related its inability to confirm his citizenship. 
Two days later the subject was arrested by local officials.  ACS 
requested that the Mexican authorities fingerprint the man.  The 
A-RSOI queried the prints against IAFIS and the results returned a 
confirmed record for a Mexican national with a completely different 
name.  The subject had been deported or voluntarily departed the 
U.S. five times since 1998, with his most recent removal occurring 
in October 2008.  ACS has not heard from the man since. 
17.  FPU liaises closely with CA/FPP on all passport and CRBA cases 
in which the subject and/or a parent has a fraud-related hit in 
CLASS.  In these cases, the officer contacts FPU who accesses the 
relevant PLOTS record and reviews the information.  CA/FPP is always 
contacted in order to seek concurrence if the officer believes the 
claim to U.S. citizenship is credible or if more information is 
needed to adjudicate the case.  CA/FPP is a constant source of 
support and guidance and responds rapidly to all inquiries from 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
18.  Mexico City does not process adoption cases. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
19. Post uses DNA testing in passport/CRBA cases where no positive 
proof of parentage exists.  The most common scenario in which this 
need arises is when one or both parents were married to another 
person at the time of the child's conception or birth.  In such a 
scenario, DNA testing is requested almost as a matter of course. 
DNA testing may also be requested when the AMCIT parent swears in 
his/her affidavit of physical presence that he/she was apart from 
the other parent at the time of the child's conception.  Often this 
is simply a matter of the parent noting travel dates incorrectly, 
but if no other evidence can be found or developed in the interview 
to account for the discrepancy, DNA testing is often the only way in 
which to determine parentage. 
20.  When requested, the applicant is given information on how to 
pay for the DNA test at a designated testing facility in the U.S. 
Once payment has been received, an appointment is made at a local 
laboratory for the applicant and his/her purported child to give 
swab samples for DNA testing.  An officer and an LES are present 
when the samples are collected by a technician at the laboratory, 
and the officer initials over the seal of the samples collected. 
The samples are then forwarded to the U.S. for testing, and results 
are received at post in a matter of weeks.  Post requests DNA 
testing from applicants on average three times per month. 
Approximately one out of every 20 tests results in the purported 
father being excluded as the genetic parent of the child. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
21.  Mexico City has representatives from DHS and thus does not have 
any involvement with DHS benefits. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
22.  Post has encountered cases of TCNs and transnational criminals 
MEXICO 00000944  007 OF 009 
who capitalize on the systemic malfeasance and corruption found in 
the immigration and civil registry agencies of the Mexican 
Government to obtain genuine Mexican ID documents.  As the drug war 
in Mexico reaches a fever pitch, FPU has worked increasingly closely 
with various U.S. Law Enforcement agencies at post to build 
revocation cases against visa holders with INA Section 2(C)(1) and 
2(C)(2) ineligibilities. 
23.  Widespread forgery and alteration of documents undermine all 
efforts to combat document fraud in Mexico.  Criminal intelligence 
supports the conclusion that any document necessary for travel can 
be purchased for a price in Mexico.  Documents are produced by 
multiple organized criminal sources that have both sophisticated and 
non-sophisticated capabilities to forge and alter documents, provide 
false entry/exit stamps, wash visas, and provide false passports. 
The most misused and available documents are fraudulent birth 
records, which are often used as breeder documents to obtain a 
genuine Mexican passport. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
24.  The Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Criminal Investigations 
Program and Visa and Passport Security Program are well established 
in Mexico.   Mexico currently has six DS Special Agents who serve as 
ARSO-Is who are co-located in consular sections in Mexico City, 
Hermosillo, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Matamoros, and Monterrey.  A 
seventh ARSO-I position should be operational in Guadalajara in July 
2009, and Nuevo Laredo is also expecting an ARSO-I position in the 
near future.  The Acting Deputy Regional Security Officer manages 
the entire program from Mexico City. 
25.  Once FPU has identified a fraud case and it appears to involve 
clear violations of U.S. law or evidence of criminal activity, the 
ARSO-I reviews the case for potential criminal case development. 
All criminal cases accepted by DS are reported monthly through DS 
channels to DS's Criminal Investigations Division.  Significant 
cases, updates, and final disposition are then shared by DS in 
regular meetings with CA/FPP.  Cases that have only a local nexus 
are passed on to the host nation authorities for prosecution and 
monitored by the ARSO-I for final disposition. 
26.  In a recent case, an NIV line officer contacted the ARSO-I 
after noting suspicious movements in a visa applicant's bank 
accounts.  After reviewing the case, the ARSO/I referred it to DS 
for investigation in the U.S. for suspected money laundering. 
27.  A steady stream of H cases continue to be developed and 
referred back to the U.S. for investigation and prosecution.  The 
program has been working regularly with KCC's fraud and analytical 
units to scrutinize many H visa petitions, as well as U.S. 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Document and Benefit 
Fraud Task Forces to bring to bear a coordinated multi-agency 
criminal investigation where fraud is suspected. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
28.  Mexico City's FPU continues to have concerns regarding Mexican 
passport security.  While the Mexican passport itself features a 
number of effective security features, it remains very easy to 
acquire a legitimate Mexican passport with fraudulent birth 
certificates or other identity documents.  Mexico City's FPU has 
shared with the Mexican Secretariat of External Relations (SRE) 
information on the "delegaciones" (local passport offices) that have 
a history of issuing Mexican passports to Central and South 
Americans, Europeans, as well as to Mexicans with false identities. 
29.  In a seemingly routine visa renewal case, a subject claimed to 
be born in Mexico City and presented a genuine Mexican passport. 
However, the applicant's fingerprints returned an IAFIS hit that 
revealed him to be the subject of an Interpol Red Notice and the 
owner of a completely different identity.  The subject's Mexican 
passport was issued under a false name.  Given that the subject's 
past U.S. visa was issued under the same name, the subject had 
evidently used his false identity for at least ten years.  The 
subject is actually from Spain where he is wanted for bank fraud 
(with damages in the range of 50 million USD) committed in the early 
1990's.  ARSO-I coordinated with Interpol to have the subject 
apprehended when he returned to the Embassy to ostensibly collect 
his visa.  The subject is currently in Mexican prison while Mexico 
and Spain arrange extradition details. 
30.  In late 2007 the SRE decided to start its own passport 
anti-fraud unit.  With Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) funding, the 
SRE sent several members of their new anti-fraud team to Washington 
in February 2008 to observe and learn about USG anti-fraud 
operations.  Ultimately an SRE anti-fraud unit should lead to 
MEXICO 00000944  008 OF 009 
stricter internal controls on Mexican passport issuances and thus to 
fewer applicants (for NIV and ACS services) with false identities 
but legitimate Mexican documents.  Unfortunately, the unit will not 
begin operations until a new passport director is named. 
31.  As previously reported in Reftels, the Government of Mexico 
(GOM) debuted a new "G" series passport.  In addition to some 
quality issues with the new passport, the GOM had been issuing two 
versions of the new passport simultaneously.  As well as issuing 
both versions of the "G" series passport, the SRE continued to issue 
"F" series passports in order to finish their inventory of "F" 
passport books.  Currently, it appears that the SRE has made the 
transition and is now only printing one version of the "G" series 
passport.  GOM contracts a Spanish company - Indira- to produce its 
laminate passport books. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
32.  FPU has an excellent working relationship with the SRE and good 
contacts with civil registries in the consular district.  FPU has 
made valuable contacts in the financial and travel sectors through 
FPU-led training sessions on U.S. and Mexican travel documents.  A 
strong relationship with local law enforcement has enabled DS to 
refer various visa cases with criminal implications to the relevant 
33.  FPU - with the support of ARSO-I - works closely with the 
Mexican Attorney General's office (PGR) on various issues.  The PGR 
has agreed to start prosecuting double identity cases in which the 
applicant has a national voting card (IFE).  Additionally, the PGR 
and DS have agreed to use a separate section of Mexican Law 
(referred to as Article 4) to prosecute particularly egregious fraud 
cases.  Article 4 allows the Mexican authorities to prosecute 
Mexican citizens for crimes they have committed in other countries. 
34.  In a recent case, an observant LES enroller came across a 
passport that looked suspicious.  FPU verified that the passport was 
indeed a fake, as was the copy of the IFE he presented.  The subject 
said he bought the fake passport and IFE because it was easier than 
waiting in line.  His fingerprint results told a different story. 
The subject had been deported/voluntarily departed from the U.S. at 
least five times.  He has at least ten charges from 1999-2007, 
including possession and sale of narcotics, drinking under the 
influence, and spousal abuse.  During his criminal career, the 
subject has used at least five different names.  ARSO-I contacted 
the PGR who came to the NIV section to place the subject under 
arrest.  Interestingly, for legal purposes, the PGR considers the 
Embassy "another country" and as such, the subject's crime of 
presenting a false identity can be prosecuted under Article 4. 
35.  FPU routinely meets with the Mexican Education Secretariat 
(SEP) in order to return fraudulent "cedulas profesionales."  The 
SEP then follows up with the PGR in order to prosecute these 
fraudulent professionals.  Previously, ARSO-I presented various 
cases to the Mexican authorities in which practicing physicians had 
fake professional credentials.  To our knowledge, none of these 
cases have been prosecuted. 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
36.  We would like to see more of our investigators taken for FSI 
Fraud Prevention Training as currently only two of the six 
investigators have been able to take the current course. 
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37.  Current positions that are dedicated exclusively to FPU and 
fraud prevention training received by each employee: 
Fraud Prevention Manager (acting):  XXXXXXXXXXXX
(Fraud Prevention Manager course at FSI in Sept. 2006 and on the job 
ARSO-I:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job training) 
Junior Officer Rotation:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job training) 
Senior FSN Fraud Investigator:  XXXXXXXXXXXX 
(Equivalent of PC 542 taken in Fort Lauderdale, FL in 1998 and on 
the job training) 
FSN Fraud Investigator:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (PC 542 in March 2006 and 
on the job training) 
MEXICO 00000944  009 OF 009 
FSN Fraud Investigator:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job training) 
FSN Fraud Investigator:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job training) 
FSN Fraud Investigator:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job training) 
FSN Fraud Investigator (H and L):  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job 
FSN Administrative Assistant:  XXXXXXXXXXXX (on the job training) 
38.  FPU provided anti-fraud training to 599 people in this 
reporting period, for a total of 100 hours of training.  FPU trained 
39 Foreign Service Officers, 51 LES and 509 outside contacts, 
including representatives from the financial sector, Mexican 
governmental agencies, and airlines.  Building on the initial fraud 
training offered to newly-arrived consular officers, FPU began a 
mandatory "Fraud Refresher" course for consular officers who have 
conducted visa interviews for three months or more.  FPU also 
started a monthly seminar series that educates officers on Mexican 
structures and institutions, to include various political, economic, 
and governmental topics. FPU led three city tours this period, two 
for consular officers and one for other members of the Embassy