Guinea-Bissau cracks down on illicit diplomatic passports

2015-02-11 11:44

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bissau - Guinea-Bissau has announced a crackdown on the trafficking of diplomatic and government passports after 1 600 of the precious documents were discovered in use by people with no right to them.

"There is a proliferation of diplomatic or service passports in the hands of people who have no connection with our diplomacy -- more than 1 600. It's incredible!" Foreign minister Mario Lopes Da Rosa told a news conference late on Monday.

Da Rosa did not say how officials had made their discovery, but noted the ministry had set up a monitoring system "that will allow us to determine the exact number of issued documents, to whom they were delivered and in what circumstances".

Diplomatic passports are usually tightly restricted to accredited diplomats, while service passports are reserved for government employees and their dependents for work-related travel.

Lopes Da Rosa indicated regulations on special passports will be applied with greater oversight, and intervention.

"There is a law on the granting of passports. People who do not qualify will see their papers withdrawn, pure and simple," the minister said.

Several hundred diplomatic passports disappeared during the country's 2012-14 political transition, and were later found in the hands of Chinese, Hungarian and other foreigners, a foreign ministry source said.

"It's effectively a well-organised mafia. A diplomatic passport was selling for up to $50 000," the source added.

Read more on:    guinea bissau  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.