US embassy cable - 07NAIROBI4050

QUARTERLY FRAUD SUMMARY - NAIROBI

Identifier: 07NAIROBI4050
Wikileaks: View 07NAIROBI4050 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Nairobi
Created: 2007-10-11 11:59:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC KCRM KE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0018
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #4050/01 2841159
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111159Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2870
INFO RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 4989
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9582
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 4934
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 1923
UNCLAS NAIROBI 004050 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR AF/CA 
DEPT FOR CA/FPP, CA/EX 
PASS TO KCC 
PASS TO INL/HSTC 
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS:  KFRD, CVIS, CPAS, CMGT, ASEC, KCRM, KE 
SUBJECT: QUARTERLY FRAUD SUMMARY - NAIROBI 
 
REF: A. Nairobi 2771, B. Nairobi 2307, C. Nairobi 1389, D. 06 
 
Nairobi 3733, E. 06 NAIROBI 2782, F. 06 NAIROBI 2509, G. 06 NAIROBI 
1650, H. 06 NAIROBI 817, I. 06 NAIROBI 740, J. 05 STATE 205073, K. 
05 NAIROBI 4523, L. 05 NAIROBI 3627 
 
1. (U) Summary.  The following report replies to Ref J reinstitution 
of the quarterly fraud report covering the current condition of 
consular fraud in Kenya, with specific reference to fraud trends in 
non-immigrant visa, immigrant visa, and diversity visa applications 
as well as cases of American Citizen Services, adoption, and 
passport fraud.   Other areas covered include cooperation with the 
host government, and areas of particular concern.  The review 
concludes with an overview of FPU staffing and training. End 
Summary. 
 
------------------ 
COUNTRY CONDITIONS 
------------------ 
 
2. (SBU) Consular operations in Nairobi are regional in nature, 
covering much of East Africa, to include immigrant visa operations 
for Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, Seychelles, 
southern Sudan, Reunion, and Mauritius.  Several of these countries 
have historically been politically unstable and involved significant 
migration by refugee groups.  Due to the political history of and 
fluid borders in East Africa, as well as Kenya's role as a 
relatively stable country in the region, Nairobi's consular work 
maintains a fraud prevention posture that takes into consideration 
the high potential that applicants tend to have very fluid 
identities, including names, dates of birth, and other biometric 
information.  These same factors (porous borders and malleable 
identities) have proven attractive to terrorist groups wishing to 
strike Western targets inside of Kenya. 
 
3. (U) Over the past quarter, Post has encountered several attempts 
by cyber cafes to generate fake visa appointment letters.  These are 
obvious "cut and paste" letters, and the applicants are often 
disappointed to hear that the appointment booking fee they paid to 
the cyber cafe is for a non-existent interview.  Fees charged for 
fake appointment letters range form $100 to $175 according to 
scammed applicants. 
 
4. (SBU) For the quarter, CCD reports indicate that Nairobi had 137 
total fraud cases.  The number of cases referred to FPU has dropped 
significantly as Post carried out an internal investigation of 
Nairobi's former Fraud Prevention Unit Investigation Assistant.  The 
investigation determined conclusively that our former employee was 
involved in consular malfeasance; he was terminated, and immediately 
arrested by the Kenyan authorities.  Nairobi is in the process of 
hiring a new staff member for the position. 
 
--------- 
NIV FRAUD 
--------- 
 
5. (SBU) Students' financial support continues to be a focus area 
for FPU Nairobi.  CCD text searches of sponsor names allow Nairobi 
to routinely catch F1 student applicants using recycled bank 
statements.  Adjudicators have noticed that our tougher stance on 
student visa applicants over the past year has resulted in a growth 
in the quality and quantity of students who have scholarships or can 
demonstrate credible financial support. 
 
-------- 
IV FRAUD 
-------- 
 
6. (SBU) Relationship fraud continues to be a problem in Nairobi, 
particularly in the IR-1 and K-3 marriage-based categories.  Post is 
actively using accurint.com search tools to reveal information about 
petitioners which often undermines already poorly crafted 
relationship stories told by applicants. 
 
7. (SBU) Thanks to a random inspection and interception of outbound 
mail by CBP officials, Post has an entire coaching packet for an 
IR-2 step-child petition which seriously calls into question the 
veracity of the relationship in question.  Post will also review the 
bona fides of the applicant's brother who recently received a visa 
and traveled to the U.S. 
 
-------- 
DV FRAUD 
-------- 
8. (SBU) On July 25, Post's FPM received two emails from unknown 
sources threatening the lives of Kenyan journalists as well as 
Embassy staff.  The emails complain about our fraud-prevention 
posture on ghost marriages outlined in the July 2006 Fraud Digest. 
For DV 2006 and 2007, Post has made great efforts to investigate 
add-on spouse marriages and found the vast majority of them to be 
fraudulent, leading to visa denials.  As a result, Post has shut 
down what had become a human trafficking money maker for several 
fraud rings operating in Kenya.  The emails, which were immediately 
shared with RSO, show the incredible frustration felt by the fraud 
rings at their loss of revenue and the termination of their human 
trafficking schemes. 
 
9.   (SBU) Since Post is taking a tough posture against add-on 
spouses in DV cases, applicants who notified NVC of their add-on 
spouses are now coming to the DV interview claiming the recently 
added-on spouse died suddenly.  In support of these claims, the 
applicants are providing death certificates.  In the first of these 
cases, a fraud investigation determined that the death certificate 
was fraudulent.  Post believes this will be the modus operandi for 
these cases in light of Post's heightened scrutiny of DV add-on 
spouse cases. 
 
10.  (SBU) In July, two DV applicants stepped forward as 
whistle-blowers and described in detail how Post's former fraud 
prevention investigations assistant approached them and demanded 
money in order to facilitate their visa processing.  He met with 
them on several occasions, usually after hours and on weekends, and 
his conversations with them were recorded by Kenya Anti-Corruption 
Police Unit investigators.  RSO and Consular officers also 
carried-out an internal investigation which confirmed the 
allegations of malfeasance and resulted in the termination our 
employee.  The sole FSN position in FPU has been vacant since his 
termination in late-July. 
 
11.  (U) In August, Nairobi interviewed two Kenyan DV winners who 
claimed to be the same person.  Both supplied valid Kenyan passports 
with the name and date of birth of the winning principal applicant. 
Both applicants had also added spouses to their cases.  While not 
surprised, Post continues to be troubled that applicants can so 
easily fraudulently obtain valid Kenyan travel documents. 
 
---------------------- 
ACS and PASSPORT FRAUD 
---------------------- 
 
12. (SBU) A downtown bank called FPU about a suspicious individual 
holding a U.S. passport who was attempting to cash traveler's 
checks.  The bank also called Kenyan police who arrested the 
individual.  Careful inspection of the passport and review of PIERS 
indicates that the passport was stolen in Nairobi in January 2007 
and that the biometric page had been overlaid with a new photo and 
information behind a new laminate.  The fraudster also laminated the 
signature page, which along with his odd behavior tipped-off the 
bank employees. 
 
13. (SBU) FPU worked with local authorities at the airport to 
determine that an elderly Somali-American gentleman was facilitating 
an attempt to traffic three other Somalis on his daughter and 
grand-daughter's passports.  Kenyan immigration authorities decided 
to prosecute the facilitator who was apparently recognized as having 
previously attempted to do the same thing.  Personal interviews of 
the three teenage look-alike fraudsters revealed they had been 
poorly coached.  When the FPM asked one her date of birth, she 
stated that she did not know, but she said we should ask her 
grandfather who would certainly know. 
 
-------- 
ADOPTION 
-------- 
 
14. (U) Nairobi has had one IR-2 case which involves a Uganda-based 
adoption which appears to be fraudulent.  This case follows the 
pattern of similar Kenyan cases where Kenyan-American adopting 
parents attempt to adopt distant family members who have lost their 
parents and guardians in Kenya.  Nairobi FPU believes that due to 
the length of the adoption legal process, petitioners resort to 
forged court documents to expedite the process. 
 
--------------- 
ASSISTING USCIS 
--------------- 
 
15. (U) Post's fraud unit continues to act as a resource for 
domestic USCIS investigators verifying documents for Kenyans 
attempting to change status in the U.S.  USCIS officers tell us that 
among Kenyans, their most fraud-proned cases involve members of the 
Kisii tribe who also commit the majority of DV fraud seen in 
Nairobi. 
 
--------------- 
HOST GOVERNMENT 
--------------- 
 
16.  (SBU) Nairobi receives decent cooperation from the host 
government; however, the Kenyan government has not honored its 
requirements under the Geneva Convention regarding consular 
notification.  In the previous quarter, Nairobi learned about the 
death of an Amcit from an anonymous caller who informed us that 
Kenyan police had dumped the body in a local morgue without 
refrigeration.  Hours later, Post identified the body with 
difficulty, as it had been nearly a week since the death occurred. 
Post has yet to receive official notification of the death, nor have 
we received substantive responses to our Diplomatic Notes protesting 
this breach of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. 
 
---------------- 
AREAS OF CONCERN 
---------------- 
 
17.  (U) Post believes that Kenyan borders and ports will continue 
to be porous transit points for third-country nationals attempting 
to travel on fraudulent documents.  Nairobi also believes that, 
following ongoing fighting in Somalia, potentially malevolent 
applicants may attempt to apply for visas in Nairobi.  Potential 
threats to U.S. security are likely to have significant resources 
and may attempt to procure genuine Kenyan documents in order to get 
a US visa.  As such, following the recent OIG's recommendation, Post 
believes it is critical that we purchase a powerful anti-fraud tool: 
the Foster and Freeman VSC4Plus with Document Imaging Software 
Suite, at an installed cost of roughly $33,000.  We continue to 
believe that the VSC4Plus would greatly enhance Post's anti-fraud 
posture and would enable us to expand on our anti-fraud cooperation 
with host-government authorities. 
 
--------------------- 
STAFFING AND TRAINING 
--------------------- 
 
18. (U) Nairobi has begun to accept NIV, IV, and DV cases from 
Eritrea following the closure of visa operations in Asmara. 
Eritrean cases have increased our IV workload by approximately 25 
percent.  While we appreciate the Asmara's consular officer's offer 
to provide TDY-assistance in Nairobi, temporary assistance is 
insufficient.  Additionally, the passport-related backlogs in the 
U.S. mean that only one Vice Consul will be doing the work of four 
from September 2007 onwards.  The final month of the 2007 DV season 
showed that slightly more than 30 percent of our DV cases in 
September 2007 were Eritrean. 
 
19. (U) The FPU unit's sole FSN has been terminated for malfeasance, 
and in his absence two NIV FSNs with significant collateral duties 
are attempting to fill-in for him.  Due to short staffing among the 
officers, Post's fraud prevention efforts at the officer level 
continue to be diminished; however, Post is happy to note that the 
new ARSO/I is assimilating quickly.  The current Fraud Prevention 
Manager with collateral duties, Etienne LeBailly, who received FPM 
training in December 2005, departs Post in late-August.  When fully 
staffed sometime late in 2007, Richard Nicholson will take over FPM 
duties. 
 
RANNEBERGER 

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