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Interpol's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents Database

Transcript of the above video:

In the wake of recent news that we have gotten here in the Kingdom with respect to Thai Immigration and the Officers associated therewith conducting various raids throughout the country and finding that a number of individuals have been maintaining status in the Kingdom through use of false documentation, notably fake passports etc., I thought it was pretty apt to go ahead and do a video on Interpol, as the title suggests, and their Stolen and Lost Travel Documents Database

We will go ahead and post some of this. These are just some printouts from their main website. I am just going to quote directly and then do some commentary after I am done quoting. Quoting directly, and this is from "This database helps police to catch terrorists and criminals who often use fraudulent travel documents to cross borders. Law enforcement officers around the world can check the validity of a travel document in seconds using our Database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents. The SLTD Database contains around 84 million records. These can be lost, stolen and revoked travel documents such as passports, identity cards, visas and UN laissez-passer and also stolen blank travel documents. The database was searched nearly three billion times in 2018 by officials worldwide resulting in more than 289,000 positive matches or "hits". Countries submit records of lost or stolen travel documents to the database. Only the country which issued a document can add it to the database and it can be done by the Interpol, National, Central Bureau or other authorized law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officials at National Central Bureaus in frontline locations such as airports and border crossings can check the passports of individuals traveling internationally against TSLTD. In this way they can immediately determine if the document has been reported as lost or stolen so they can take the necessary actions. The database is accessed via our secure global police communication system known as I-24/7."

So my commentary on this is, virtually every major country now uses biometrics in their travel documentation, so in effect although passports are paper documents for lack of better term, they are rather digital insofar as once they are scanned they immediately are bounced against well virtually anywhere in the world, they are referred against the Interpol database with respect to lost or stolen travel documents.  So those who are using false documentation, I think moving forward it's completely, it was always a fool's errand let me be clear, but where there was not the technological sophistication to verify documents digitally on the spot and now there is, I just really don't think that in any way, shape or form is it even going to be possible to have these "James Bond" or cold war scenarios where people are using fake passports to travel in and out of countries. I just simply don't think that is going to be possible in the future mostly because of databases like this one. 

And as noted previously, Thai Immigration has undertaken a number of recent raids that have resulted in, I think  have read about at least a dozen cases where people were in the Kingdom using false documentation and Thai Immigration specifically noted that they used this database and are cross-referencing with this database to verify that those documents were indeed false  and they were either somebody utilizing someone else's passport that had been reported lost or stolen or they were just pure forgeries based on blank documentation etc. 

So moving forward I think it's very safe to assume that it is not going to be a very good idea nor has it ever been, to utilize fake travel documents but the reason I bring this up is to provide a little bit of nuance into how it works in that pretty much any time you are passing through a border checkpoint probably virtually anywhere around the world but certainly here in Thailand, your travel document is immediately being verified against this database, presumably others as well, as we have noted on this channel, the PBX system and the APP system that Thailand now utilizes, check people before they even arrive in Thailand in some cases and then double-checks them against most of their databases here in the Kingdom to ensure that is not like a returning criminal or someone who has been blacklisted. So they have their own local databases on top of this database which is international.

So again the thing to take away from this video is it is probably not a good idea to use false documentation to try to travel into Thailand or any other country for that matter in the near or distant future.