Police’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is investigating numerous reports of Zimbabweans getting stranded at entry points across the world after being caught with forged passports.
Most of the travel documents would have been reported stolen or lost.
This was revealed by the CID national spokesperson, Detective Inspector Augustine Zimbili, on Friday.
However, he would not be drawn into revealing figures relating to the issue.
He said there were numerous cases of Zimbabweans who have been stopped at different entry points after they tried to use passports which they would have stolen.
“We urge people who would have reported their passports lost or stolen to take that information to their local passport offices and the National Central Bureau (NCB) offices of Interpol,” said Zimbili.
The NCB Interpol offices are located at the CID Headquarters at Morris Depot in Harare.
Zimbili said of late, police had noted with concern the increase in automated messages from other countries that many Zimbabweans were using travelling documents that would have been reported lost or stolen.
He said the continued use of such documents inconvenienced travellers at ports of entry because the authorities of the visited country would seek to clarify ownership of the document that would have been reported stolen or lost in a member state.
“Upon losing travelling documents, we encourage people to report to their nearest police station or local passport offices. Any such report made ends up with the local NCB offices of Interpol and such information is immediately fed into the stolen or lost travel documents database of Interpol,” said Zimbili.
He said if lost documents were recovered, the information should be forwarded to passport offices and NCB Interpol offices.
“If this is not done and one proceeds to use the document, they are likely to get in trouble at the port of entry and the gravity of the problem is determined by the laws and procedures to be followed by the visited country when dealing with such cases” he said.
Asked to verify figures of the cases of that nature reported, he said giving figures would cause alarm and despondency.
“It is not necessary to give figures because we do not want to cause alarm. We can only reveal that numerous reports have been made concerning such cases and there is a need for travellers to follow the advice we are giving them,” he said.