Electronic verification system to check Philippine visa frauds

The UK Border Agency working with Philippines banks

15 December 2009: An electronic verification system will soon help foiling attempts to sneak in from Philippine through fraudulent visa applications.

Available information suggests the UK Border Agency is working with banks in the Philippines to develop an electronic verification system that will help in cracking down on fraudulent visa applications.

False banking documentation accounts for more than one-fifth of all fraud encountered in Philippine applications for permission to come to the UK. The new system, which will be managed by the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), will enable bank documents to be checked more quickly, efficiently and accurately.

On 7 December 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by British Ambassador Stephen Lillie, BAP operations committee chairman Ricardo Balbido Jr and Ed Mackie, UK Border Agency regional manager for north-east Asia and Australasia.

Stephen Lillie said: ‘We welcome this landmark co-operation between the British Embassy and the BAP to continue the UK government’s wider fight against visa fraud and forgery in the Philippines.’

Ed Mackie added: ‘The UK Border Agency has already provided the BAP with the hardware — server and peripherals, and we are covering the software development costs. The BAP are covering the maintenance and running costs of the system.

‘The new system will enable us to detect even more quickly those who seek to cheat our system by providing false banking documents.’

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