#29 CHEAP SECOND PASSPORTS FOR BANKING PURPOSES: BE VERY CAREFUL!

Years ago, clients used to open offshore accounts in phony names using passports obtained from African countries. That was way before 9/11. Surprisingly, a major offshore services supplier is offering so-called BANKING PASSPORTS from an African country in his latest newsletter. Risky or what?

I don’t understand why on earth ******** would consider this to be a viable proposal.

Reader Vlad says: “Any decent bank these days would be very suspicious of a new client with a passport from Africa putting substantial deposits in his new account. How on earth would he be able to procure a banking reference in a ghost name is beyond my understanding.”

Grandpa says: Couldn’t agree more, Vlad. Using a fraudulently obtained ghost or camouflage passport from anywhere to do anything is a very dumb idea and guaranteed way to lose your money & possibly your freedom.
In most places providing them to others & mere possession of fraudulent identity documents is a felony…Using another secondary phony, forged or fraudulent documents “compounds” the felony & opens the client to other charges.

Here’s a possible play-by-play:

Mr. Dumb X opens an account with $500,000 & his [for instance] Namibia {African} ghost passport. A few months later in a routine review, the bank’s compliance officers & examiners of questioned documents says in a letter to him:

1) ”Your race & language skills indicate that this deposit is probably a terrorist or drug money, and in any event, it is illegal, laundered money & it definitely doesn’t belong to anyone named Mr Dumb X from Namibia. Where/who is the real Mr. Dumb X? ”
2) The account is frozen; all correspondence, data is turned over to local police.
3) Client says to bank “I want to take out some of my own money.
4) Bank says,”sorry, get police clearance & a local court order first.”
5) If Mr. Dumb goes to see cops, they say his passport was fraudulently issued & seize it as “evidence.” . Cops question him, ask for his parent’s birth & marriage certificates; his school records, his employment records & tax returns, his addresses – all for that last 40 years as supported by leases, medical records, CPA and lawyer references, etc.
Dumb X obviously can’t produce proof that he is the person named in the passport. That person is possibly dead or still running around beating a tom-tom in Namibia.
6) It immediately obvious [as it was to his bankers] & to local cops that Mr. Dumb is a fraud, really not whom he claims to be, & presumably a terrorist or drug dealer. He is jailed & held without bail for trial.
7) Under local laws his entire account is forfeited for fraud; he is arrested, tried and convicted of identity theft, possibly also fraudulent entry into the country.
8) At the end of his long prison sentence, he is deported back to his “real” country for further prosecution. This is just one possible outcome. I can think of fifty-five others; — all bad. Hot product? Indeed!

Of course, there is no reason why you would need to use a banking passport. There are plenty of other ways to keep your bank account secure. If you don’t know them, write a brief resume of what you are trying to achieve and ask Grandpa’s advice (members only).

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