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Why do people steal PASSPORTS (ASIA)

Travel Forums Asia Why do people steal PASSPORTS (ASIA)

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1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

Are Passports on the hotlist of things that get stolen?

Is there are market for stolen passports?

who buys them? are Asian passports more in demand?

I am in Thailand and my friend lost his passport on a bus ride (9 years ago).
I lost my wallet in Bangkok, so I am very careful with my passport.

I am always paranoid about leaving my passport even in my hotel. Do people really steal passports?

Do we ever surrender our passports to the police. I would never. Unless you are the president of the country I am visiting, I will not give my passport. I really value my passport, not because it is a Filipino passport, but because of the stamps that I collected.

2. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Read the book Shantaram. Aside from being an incredible book, the guy used to deal in passports.

In Nigeria I could have sold by passport for 20,000USD, no questions. Cash in hand.

Old passports are the most valuable, the ones without bar codes. Less ability to track. A lot of east European countries still issue them.

3. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

A Malaysian passport used to fetch a few thousand US dollars in the black market and there were many who sold theirs for a quick buck. The government knew this problem and so in 1998, they introduced a new passport with a biometrics chip--the first in the world--and printed the picture of the holder on the passport instead of sticking the photo on it. Forgery cases involving Malaysian passport decreased tremendously after that. I don't know if my passport still fetch that high of a price nowadays with all those virtually-impossible-to-break or not-worth-breaking security features. I think my passport is probably worthless now.

The value of a passport in the black market also depend on how high a country rank in terms of visa restrictions. See Henley Visa Restrictions Index - Global Ranking 2006.

4. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 8y

If you think about it carefully, your passport has all the importiant information anyone could ever ask for: Your full name, DOB, your age, sometimes your address. Your passport is the key to many things, including obtaining credit in your name. (think about it... What is the best form of ID in the world... "your passport") Always keep it safe when travelling especially, not only is it a pain in the neck if you lose it but it's also expensive to get a replacement!

5. Posted by vlaja (Budding Member 23 posts) 8y

Well, with all respect about how imporatant is passport for any traveller i sugest You to be less paranoic. Maybe it s not bad idea for You to make a copy of Your passport and visa and to keep it separatly. So if something happened You will have at least copy which will help You very much in imigration. In imigration in Bangkok they have special window/office for stolen or lost passports and copy will help You a lot. Together with help from Your embasie everything will be ok at the end. Hope You will not need this informations.
Good luck and very best

6. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

I love my passport very much... its priceless
and I really dont want to visit my embassy.
so I'll stitch it to my skin.

I love my passport, but I will trade it for European passport, any day of the week.

7. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

BBC News: 3,000 passports and visas stolen

They're worth £1,700 each!

8. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru 1836 posts) 8y

Quoting Swept Away

so I'll stitch it to my skin.

which part??

9. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 8y

I would like to point out that the "going rate" of 1,700 GBP for a Passport is for a BLANK one (before any on you get the idea of selling yours and heading to your nearest Embassy)! An actual passport is worthless in currency terms, only the information enclosed in it is useful to those who steel or find it.
Let's please give useful information on how to protect your passport and other valuable articles rather than putting a price on them!!!

10. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 8y

To answer one of "Swept Aways'" actual questions... You do sometimes surrender your passport to the police. But only for the case of obtaining a working or business visa for your country of stay. This (although there is always some risk) is normal and essencial.