Mainlanders use Macau to flee on fake papers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 June, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 June, 1996, 12:00am

Scores of mainlanders have over the past two weeks been arrested on flights to Macau's international airport.

Chinese travellers have been using it as a transit point to the rest of Southeast Asia.

Police reported that the mainlanders were hoping to take flights out of Macau to destinations including Taiwan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

They told police they had paid tens of thousands of dollars to obtain forged passports to make their journeys.

Immigration officers said they were taking new measures to track down Chinese travelling with false documents.

The fake papers racket was first discovered in Macau two weeks ago when five men and two women carrying Chinese passports arrived at the airport in transit to Singapore.

Immigration officers discovered their passports were genuine but the photographs had been changed.

The group, from Fujian province, said they paid between 20,000 and 40,000 patacas for documents and flights.

Three mainlanders boarded a Kuala Lumpur-bound jet but were also found to have fake passports. They said they had paid between 125,000 and 200,000 patacas each for their passports and tickets.

Nine people travelling with forged passports on Friday managed to fly to Taiwan but were arrested on arrival at Taipei after officials noticed the passport pictures had been switched.