Travel Advice: Don’t Hand Over Your Passport to Israeli Officials (If You Can Avoid It)


UK passport holders should be aware of a recent Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation into the misuse of UK passports in the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai on 19 January 2010.  The SOCA investigation found circumstantial evidence of Israeli involvement in the fraudulent use of British passports.  This has raised the possibility that your passport details could be captured for improper uses while your passport is out of your control.  The risk applies in particular to passports without biometric security features.  We recommend that you only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary.

The text above is an excerpt from the FCO travel advice regarding “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories” (updated on 23 March 2010).  Click here to read the full text.  See, also, David Miliband, “Statement on the Use of British Passports in Connection with the Alleged Murder of a Senior Hamas Leader in Dubai” (United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 23 March 2010); and “Abuse of British Passports” (United Kingdom Serious Organised Crime Agency, 23 March 2010).

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