Police have arrested people in Harare who were allegedly printing fake national identity documents and the suspects will appear in court. In a statement, the Registrar-General’s Office said the system was alert to any shenanigans. “The Registrar-General security got a tip off about criminals who are printing fake national identity documents and sought the assistance of the police to arrest the culprits,” the RG’s office said.
“The culprits were indeed arrested and are in police custody. The Registrar-General (Mr Tobaiwa Mudede) recently had workshops in Harare and Bulawayo on document fraud, encouraging individuals and the corporate world to verify with the department on any civil registration document whose authenticity they are not satisfied with.”
The RG’s Office said it had the capacity to detect fraudulent documents.
“It is advised that people should not part with goods, property or money if they are in doubt of the document which their client has presented,” read the statement.
The department has a robust civil registration system and state-of-the- art equipment which is able to detect fraudulent documents.’
The RG’s office added: “Also because of the vibrant and technologically advanced system that the Registrar-General’s Department developed, people are encouraged to change their metal identity documents (IDs) to the biometric machine readable polythene-sythentic card.”
At a workshop in Bulawayo last week, Mr Mudede said companies and individuals were losing millions of dollars due to fraud involving fake identification documents.
He said there was an increase in people who present fake identification documents to claim from deceased estates, process international visas, claim compensation from insurance companies, get employment or defraud companies and individuals.
Mr Mudede said it was important for authorities to check with his office before processing anything as some people were producing counterfeit documents.
“From 2004 we have gone biometric and our documents have a lot of security features of international standards,” he said.
“While we are doing this, there are those who want to live on fraud. They produce counterfeits which are similar to our documents. They go to the authorities and produce these counterfeits. The authorities don’t have machines to verify. They look at the documents which look genuine and process benefits on the basis of what they have been given.