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Kazakhstan Interior Ministry explains origin of blank passports seized from Chinese at border 19 марта 2014, 17:09

The Interior Ministry of Kazakhstan denies that the blank Kazakhstan passports seizing from two Chinese nationals was obtained illegally.
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©National Security Committee of Kazakhstan ©National Security Committee of Kazakhstan
The Internal Affairs Ministry of Kazakhstan has denied that the batch of several hundreds of blank Kazakhstan passports seizing from two Chinese national in Almaty airport was obtained or transported illegally, Tengrinews reports. The situation arose after a checkpoint of the border police in Almaty airport seized 291 blank Kazakhstan passports they discovered in the carry-on luggage of two Hong Kong residents while they were checking in for KC-929 Almaty-Hong Kong flight. 250 passports had blue covers and 40 had maroon covers, one of the passports with maroon cover contained a photograph and identification data in it. There was also a roll of holographic tape used in making of passports. "The Hong Kong citizens were arrested by the Board Police for carrying a batch samples. Those were not black passports, but samples of passports made during testing of equipment that is being purchased by the Kazakhstan government via a public procurement tenter for its Shymkent-based Documentation Office. The Government decided to open the office in Shymkent to reduce the time it takes to issue a passport (in the southern region of Kazakhstan)," the Director of the Information Production Center of the Ministry of Interior Affairs Boris Omarov said at the press-briefing. He explained that the samples did not contain any protective elements that real passports would. "The samples have plain white pages and ‘K’ series, which means they are not real documents. Regular Kazakhstan passports have ‘N’ series, service passports have ‘S’ series and ‘D’ series is for diplomatic passports (...) None of the seized samples had any such attributes, which means they can't be used as official documents. There are also passports with maroon covers in that batch, because any colour of the covers could be used in the making of the test samples. None of those can be used to make real documents either. And the seized tape was also a sample. It is a laminating material that is used to cover the paper base of the documents during production. The sample tape does not contain the official protective elements," the Director said. Boris Omarov said that since the Chinese nationals were arrested in the airport while checking-in for a flight to leave Kazakhstan and had to stay in Kazakhstan while all the details of their strange cargo were being clarified "now there is a problem because the stay of the Hong Kong citizens in Kazakhstan is illegal. The French and Chinese embassies are filing notes to the Ministry and Board Police asking to present grounds on which the two nationals were arrested. Because they had a right to carry these samples, they had the necessary acts that certified it. The Board Police was supposed to check everything properly," Boris Omarov said. "The Board Police released the information about the case to the media prematurely. The two arrested persons are employees of a French company that our government has contacted to supply the equipment. And they were carrying the acceptance and delivery acts for the seized blanks made in English and Russian," Omarov concluded. By Baubek Konyrov

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