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Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK193, Fraud Summary - Reykjavik: March to August 2009

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09REYKJAVIK193 2009-10-28 17:05 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRK #0193/01 3011704
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281704Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4203
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0192
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000193 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR CA/FPP 
DHS FOR CIS/FDNS 
DEPT PASS KCC WILLIAMSBURG KY 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC IC
SUBJECT:  Fraud Summary - Reykjavik:  March to August 2009 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  Iceland is a low-fraud country with no identifiable, 
consistant fraud patterns involving U.S. passports or visas.  No 
signficant changes or fraud trends were noted in Iceland during the 
reporting period March 1 to August 31, 2009.  END SUMMARY. 
 
COUNTRY CONDITIONS 
------------------ 
2.  Iceland, a stable democracy with a dynamic consumer economy, 
suffered an economic meltdown in October 2008.  The banking sector 
collapsed and the Icelandic Government turned to the International 
Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance.  This was a marked change from 
the economic boom Iceland had experienced from several years of 
strong economic growth spurred by economic reforms, deregulation, 
and low inflation.  Despite the recent economic collapse, Iceland is 
not generally characterized by social conditions which create 
widespread fraud.  Iceland has a proportionally large foreign-born 
population of approximately 12 percent.  This group consists of both 
naturalized Icelandic citizens and permanent residents.  Integration 
into Icelandic society by non-native populations can vary widely 
depending on individual circumstances and factors such as language, 
culture, employment and housing.  Iceland participates in the Visa 
Waiver Program (VWP) and most Icelandic citizens travel to the U.S. 
using their Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) and an approved 
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).  Most Icelandic 
passports and national IDs are machine-readable and Iceland started 
to produce bio-metric passports in 2006.  Obtaining fraudulent birth 
certificates or other registry items is difficult since all records 
are computerized, centrally stored, and easy to verify. 
 
NIV Fraud 
--------- 
3.  NIV fraud is minimal in Iceland, and Post did not discover any 
confirmed cases of NIV fraud during this reporting period.  Post 
pays careful attention to applicants seeking visas for extended 
visits, young Icelandic applicants applying for a B1/B2 (with the 
intention of working as baby sitters), "new Icelanders" (who only 
recently obtained Icelandic citizenship), third-country nationals 
resident in Iceland, and non-resident NIV applicants.  During this 
reporting period, post received NIV applications from citizens from 
39 countries.  The most significant third country national groups 
are citizens of Poland and Russia. 
 
4.  Post receives approximately two I-275 "turnaround" reports from 
DHS each month, mainly for previous overstays on the Visa Waiver 
Program or evidence of intended illegal employment. 
 
IV Fraud 
-------- 
5.  Post did not uncover any cases involving IV fraud during this 
reporting period.  The IV unit's main fraud concern is family based 
IV applications from third-country nationals with foreign birth, 
marriage and police certificates. 
 
DV Fraud 
-------- 
6.  Post did not uncover any cases involving DV fraud during this 
reporting period.  All DV winners in FY 2009 were Icelandic citizens 
and documents proving family relationships are easily verified by 
the Icelandic authorities. 
 
ACS and U.S. Passport Fraud 
--------------------------- 
7.  U.S. passport fraud is minimal at post.  False claims to U.S. 
citizenship and photo-substituted identification documents are the 
main fraud concerns in the ACS unit.  Lost or stolen passport cases 
are frequent as the numbers of U.S. visitors to Iceland have 
steadily increased over the last five years.  Local authorities are 
diligent about turning in found U.S. passports to the Consular 
Section. 
 
Adoption Fraud 
-------------- 
8.  Post does not handle any adoption documents. 
 
Use of DNA Testing 
------------------ 
9.  DNA testing is readily available and not susceptible to fraud. 
Socially, it is very common for Icelanders not to marry and a large 
percentage of children are born to unmarried parents.  Icelandic 
authorities only require DNA tests when the father disputes 
paternity or the paternity of a child is unknown. 
 
Asylum and Other DHS Benefits Fraud 
----------------------------------- 
10.  Post did not uncover any cases involving asylum fraud during 
this reporting period.  Iceland has a low asylum approval rate as 
all international flights to Iceland are from countries 
characterized as safe havens (USA, Western Europe, and Canada). 
Alien Smuggling, Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terrorist Travel 
------------------------------------ 
11.  Iceland is a destination country and possibly a transit point 
for small numbers of alien traffickers and asylum seekers from the 
Baltic States, Eastern Europe, China, and Africa.  A report 
published in September by the Icelandic Red Cross estimates that 
there were between 59 and 128 cases of human trafficking to Iceland 
in the past three years.  Icelandic border authorities devote 
considerable attention to suspicious travelers from outside the 
Schengen Area, but are limited in their ability to detain citizens 
from Schengen countries for questioning. 
 
DS Criminal Fraud Investigations 
-------------------------------- 
12.  Post did not refer any cases to the Regional Security Office 
(RSO) for criminal investigations during this reporting period.  The 
Consular Section and RSO maintain a strong working relationship. 
 
Host Country Passport, Identity Documents and Civil Registry 
---------------------------- 
13.  Iceland issues biometric passports both domestically and 
overseas at their embassies and consulates.  Icelandic documents are 
characteristically secure and easy to verify through a computerized 
record keeping system. 
 
Cooperation with Host Government Officials 
------------------------------------------ 
14.  Cooperation between Post and the Icelandic authorities is 
excellent.  The Consular Section has a particularly strong working 
relationship with the Border Police at Keflavik International 
Airport who have willingly allowed us to examine documents using 
their top of the line fraud detection equipment whenever we have 
requested it. 
 
Ares of Particular Concern 
 
-------------------------- 
15.  Post pays careful attention to the increasing numbers of 
third-country nationals applying in Iceland.  We have encountered 
attempts by immigration lawyers to avoid perceived rigorous 
adjudication procedures by flying in H1B and L applicants from other 
parts of the world for the sole purpose of having them apply for 
visas in Iceland in the expectation of fast and easy issuance.  Post 
continues to discourage third country national first-time applicants 
from applying in Iceland. 
 
Staffing and Training 
--------------------- 
16.  Post has one consular assistant, Helga Magnusdottir, who is 
designated as the primary fraud prevention analyst, in addition to 
her normal ACS and IV duties.  Helga attended a one-day training 
class on fraud prevention at Embassy Stockholm in May 2007.  The 
sole consular officer at Post is the Fraud Prevention Manager.  All 
four LES in the Consular Section are expected to be aware of fraud 
and report any possible cases to the Consular Officer. 
 
17.  For questions regarding fraud prevention at Embassy Reykjavik 
please contact Consular Officer Kristyna Rabassa - 
rabassakl@state.gov or 354-562-9100 x2287. 
 
 
 
WATSON