Conmen fool Filipinos with fake attestations

DUBAI - Filipinos who have their documents attested in the Philippines should beware of conmen who promise to facilitate and speed up the whole process for a fee.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Fri 21 May 2004, 11:28 AM

Last updated: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 4:10 PM

Consul Jose Cabrera disclosed that there had been several cases in the UAE where Filipinos were caught having fake authenticated or attested documents. Falsification, he pointed out, is a serious offence which is punishable by imprisonment.

"Some Filipinos are still in jail, while others had been released and deported to the Philippines," he told Khaleej Times, adding that cases of falsification of authentication or attested markings are still prevalent.

The embassy staff, he said, can ascertain whether the attested document is fake as the genuine one has security features. "Of course we can't tell you the security features, but we can distinguish a fake from a genuine attested document from the security features on the stamp, signature, seal and paper used in attested documents," Mr Cabrera said.

Filipinos are advised to ensure that their documents are properly authenticated or attested by the relevant authorities. "If a person is authorises a person to process his or her documents, the authorised representative should make sure that he or she does not deal with people who give false promises that they could speed up the process. They are likely to engage in illegal activities such as forgery and falsification," warned Mr Cabrera.

When told that there had been cases in the UAE where a person has claimed that she had "connections" with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila and the Philippine Embassy officials in the UAE and could facilitate the attestation process for a fee, Mr Cabrera said, "We advise those who have similar experiences to come forward. They need to talk to me directly. The embassy will not tolerate such acts."

Jenny Acio, a member of the consular staff at the embassy who travels to Dubai every Thursday to render outreach consular services, said that they process an average of 200 authenticated or attested documents in Dubai every Thursday. These include diplomas, marriage contracts, birth certificates and parental travel permits, among others.

"In Abu Dhabi, we process an average of 40 attested documents every day, 10-15 of which are diplomas. In Dubai, 20-25 attested diplomas are being processed every Thursday. There has been an increased demand in such documents as these are required by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs," she explained.

Ms Acio said that they could easily recognise a fake attested document. "We can judge from the colour of the paper. The paper certifying that the document had been duly attested or authenticated is pink in colour, and a fake one has a darker shade and has a different texture or thickness.

She added, "The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted some falsified attestation markings of the UAE Embassy in Manila, and the concerned persons were arrested. In our case, when we notice any falsification, we confiscate them and report the case to the officials from Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila who investigate on the matter."

Consul Cabrera meanwhile explained that it was not compulsory for Filipinos to have their authenticated/attested documents processed by the consular staff. "It has been a requirement by some prospective employers who would like to ensure that the documents are not falsified and would like to establish the genuineness of the documents. We charge a nominal fee of Dh100 for these documents," he said.

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