Fraud concern

MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin last night expressed concern about reports of fraudulent use of Irish passports allegedly used by members of a Russian spy ring arrested in the United States.

“I would deplore any fraudulent use of Irish passports because any fraudulent use places Irish citizens at risk and undermines the integrity of our passport system. We are awaiting further reports from the various authorities in the United States before we can make definitive conclusions in relation to this particular assertion or reports that are in the media.

“The technology we now have in place in terms of the Irish passport system is of a very high specification. But you will know from listening to people in the technology world and elsewhere, the capacity of certain organisations out there to almost penetrate any technology. So this is not just a challenge to the Irish Government, it’s a challenge to all democratic governments.

“I want to get to the bottom of this first and get more information before I make definitive comments, but we will obviously review, in the light of any information we receive, the situation pertaining to the security of our own technology and passport system. “


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