Dubai: Israel fakes more docs

2010-03-09 19:03

Dubai - Dubai's police chief accused Israel on Tuesday of "vast falsification" of travel documents, noting that dozens of false passports were uncovered following a Hamas leader's murder in the emirate.

"I ring alarm bells. Israel is falsifying Western passports on a large scale. We discover forged passports on a daily basis," Dahi Khalfan told AFP.

"The world must stop an operation of vast falsification of official documents (that) a formal body (Israel's spy agency Mossad) is carrying out," he added.

"It is shameful for the European countries that a country which claims to be a state of law is falsifying their passports," he said.

"This is an unprecedented phenomenon for one country to forge the documents of another," he said, describing it as something which is "usually done by criminal gangsters, not states".

Khalfan added that "Dubai police will continue its investigation and will unveil in the coming weeks how the Mossad forged dozens of (European) passports."

Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a founder of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas organisation's military wing, was found dead in his room of the Al-Bustan Rotana hotel near the Dubai airport on January 20.

Dubai police have accused the Mossad of responsibility for the murder.

Task force

International police agency Interpol issued arrest notices on Monday for 16 suspects wanted by Dubai in connection with the killing after previously issuing notices for 11 suspects.

Interpol also announced that it had joined a Dubai-based international police task force investigating the killing.

Dubai police have identified 26 out of 27 suspects from the hit squad murder they say bore the hallmarks of the Mossad. The Hamas man had been drugged and then suffocated.

Dubai police say the suspects entered Dubai on fake passports using the identities of 12 people from Britain, six from Ireland, four from France, three Australians and a German, before fleeing the Gulf emirate.

Australia's foreign ministry announced on Tuesday that there was a fourth Australian-passport holder on the Interpol list.

Two members of the hit squad "returned to the United States after passing through a European country", said Khalfan last week.

Israeli officials have refused to confirm or deny the reports.

But Israel's media sees the killing as Mossad's work, and the probe has caused a diplomatic headache for the Jewish state with the countries whose passports were used summoning its envoys to hear angry protests.

Read more on:    interpol  |  mossad  |  mahmud al-mabhuh  |  dubai

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