ZGram - 7/25/2004 - "Details of the New Zealand Passport Scam"
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Zgram - Where Truth is Destiny: Now more than ever!
July 25, 2004
Good Morning from the Zundelsite:
There is movie potential in the story below:
Updated July 23, 2004
Israeli Agents Arrested in Plot To Forge Passports
Mossad Targeted Handicapped; Kiwi PM Breaks Diplomatic Ties
By Fred Lingel
The jailing of two Israeli Mossad agents in New Zealand for stealing
the identities of cerebral palsy victims has exposed a wider
international passport scam by the spy agency.
On July 14, 2004, two Mossad agents-Uriel Kelman, 31, and Eli Cara,
51-were jailed for six months and fined $100,000 for fraudulently
using the Cerebral Palsy Society to obtain passports. The New Zealand
authorities are still seeking two other agents. One is Zev William
Barkan, 37, who fled New Zealand when the scam was uncovered, and an
unnamed man, who is believed to be hiding out somewhere in the
When the Mossad team was unmasked in March 2004, New Zealand's Prime
Minister Helen Clark privately asked Israel for an apology and was
rebuffed. To add insult to injury, the Israeli government denied
having agents in New Zealand.
Within days of the jailing of Kelman and Cara, Clark, under public
pressure to retaliate against Israel, launched a verbal and
diplomatic assault. She accused Israel of breaching international
law, as well as her country's sovereignty. Her greatest worry, she
told the media, was that the Mossad actions placed New Zealand
passport holders at risk when they traveled abroad.
She immediately suspended diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv and
instituted a new rule that will require visiting Israeli diplomats to
apply for visas before they can enter her country. She also canceled
Foreign Ministry consultations between the two nations scheduled for
later this year. In a major snub, she declared that a proposed visit
by the Israeli president would not be allowed to take place.
New Zealanders were equally angered by Jewish organizations that
attacked the prime minister and accused the New Zealand government of
overreaction and "anti-Semitism." It was not lost on New Zealanders
that Israel regards them as anti-Israeli, following the visit last
year of the New Zealand foreign minister to Yasser Arafat in
Palestine. In contrast, the rest of the world views New Zealand as a
small, neutral nation.
The Mossad scam began in 2003 when Kelman, Cara, Barkan and an
unidentified agent arrived in the New Zealand capital, Auckland.
First to arrive was Cara, who had been running a bogus travel agency
for three years in Sydney, the Australian capital.
Cara had lived in Sydney with his wife and three children, but
subsequent inquiries into the travel agency could not turn up an
address for the company. Between October 2000 and March 2004, Cara is
known to have made several trips to New Zealand, using two Israeli
passports, one of them a replacement passport.
By all accounts, Cara was the front man for the team, with the task
of arranging accommodations and identifying suitable victims to be
Barkan jetted into Auckland in November 2003 with a U.S. passport
that identified him as of Israeli origin. Before leaving the country
three weeks later, he had acquired from Cara the identity of a
cerebral palsy patient.
So meticulous was Cara's research into the victim that he had used
the married and maiden name of the victim's mother to get a birth
certificate, even though she had separated from the victim's father
in 2001 and was based in Britain. With the birth certificate, it was
easy to acquire Social Security documents. Barkan cleverly used the
documents to make a doctor's appointment. The ploy was to get to know
the doctor and later exploit him.
Barkan left the country after that appointment and Kelman flew into
Auckland, rented a car and checked into a hotel owned by the Kiwi
International chain. Barkan's role was to help Cara do research on
potential handicapped victims, learning where they lived and when
they were born.
The essential ingredient of their strategy was to choose people who,
because of their disabilities, would not have passports and would
never travel abroad.
Barkan flew back to Auckland on March 6, 2004 and immediately visited
the same doctor, pretending he had a minor ailment. His real purpose
quickly became apparent.
Now that the doctor had seen him a second time and had clearly
accepted his bogus identity, Barkan moved to the next level. Barkan
told the doctor he was soon to be married in Australia but had never
traveled abroad before and urgently needed a passport. He produced a
passport form and pleaded with the doctor to witness it. Unwittingly
the doctor agreed.
Barkan had photos taken of him and, with the passport application and
other documents, applied to the Department of Internal Affairs for a
passport. Meanwhile, he rented an apartment, telling neighbors he was
called "Jay" and was in the country to attend a sailing course. In
order to explain his accent, which implied he was Canadian or
American, he said his family ran a business in Washington.
In his urgency to get the passport, he made the mistake of phoning
the Department of Internal Affairs and talked to an astute passport
official, Officer Ian Tingey.
Barkan's well-spoken manner and especially his accent immediately
struck Tingey, who asked him how he had acquired such an accent.
Barkan replied that he had "mixed with Canadians."
The reply made Tingey suspicious, and he decided to investigate the
passport application. Tingey quickly found a phone number for the
family name Barkan had given him. In a subsequent call to the
cerebral palsy victim's father, the family explained that their son
had never applied for a passport and could not travel.
Tingey passed on his findings to the Auckland police, and an
investigation was launched.
Unaware they had a problem, Cara and Kelman began arranging for
delivery of Barkan's new passport. Cara phoned the passport office
and requested that it be delivered to a downtown company specializing
in travel documents. Later that day, Kelman phoned the travel
company, provided the address of the apartment Barkan had rented and
requested that when the package arrived, containing the passport, it
should be sent by courier to the apartment.
Undercover New Zealand police officers delivered the package to the
apartment, but no one was at home. They learned from the building
superintendent that an "ex-tenant" had given him a number to phone
when the package arrived. It was the number for a cab company.
One of the undercover cops spotted a suspicious man in a cafe across
the street from the apartment building who, he believed, was watching
them. It was Cara, using a cell phone to contact other members of the
Mossad team to tell them the passport had arrived.
The undercover cops left the building but maintained surveillance on
it and also on the cafe. Within an hour, a cab arrived to pick up the
package, and police followed it.
The taxi driver, who was not a part of the scam, was directed by
telephone to a street address with instructions to phone when he
reached the location.
Meanwhile, Kelman, cell phone in hand, was waiting at the location
and spotted police as the taxi came into his line of sight. He threw
the phone into the bushes and ran away. Police pursued him and seized
both him and the cell phone.
At that moment, the phone began ringing, and one of the undercover
cops answered it. Somewhat to his amusement, it was the taxi driver
asking for instructions on whom to give the package to.
Across the city at the cafe, Cara was also arrested.
Barkan, who may have been hovering nearby, fled the country that same
day, and the fourth member of the team went into hiding.
Kelman and Cara denied knowing each other, but their cell phone
records proved otherwise and also linked them to Barkan.
Mossad's eagerness to go to such lengths to obtain New Zealand
passports was linked to its need to move agents through Arab
countries without arousing suspicion and to insert them into
non-government organizations-some of them UN controlled-and into
companies with overseas contracts. The spy agency knew that New
Zealand was regarded as friendly to the Palestinian cause and as an
"inoffensive" nation in the eyes of Muslims.
New Zealand passports would allow agents to acquire many other
valuable documents, including birth certificates, marriage
certificates, death certificates of relatives and Social Security
cards. Through that process agents could establish completely new
identities, permitting them to travel through the Asian-Pacific
region, where there are large Muslim populations and many Al Qaeda
More importantly, an agent in possession of a New Zealand passport
could travel freely throughout Australia and apply for British
citizenship, which carries a European passport, enabling unhindered
access to EU countries.
But the New Zealand scam highlighted a wider international strategy
by Mossad. In 1997, Israel was forced to apologize to Canada after
two Mossad agents, using fake Canadian passports, failed in a bid to
assassinate the Hamas leader Khalid Meshal in Amman, the Jordanian
capital. They used a nerve agent in an aerosol can and sprayed it at
Meshal but only managed to use half its content. As they fled, they
Meshal was rushed to a hospital and placed on a respirator while the
two Israeli agents-Barry Beads and John Kendall-were interrogated.
Later that day, King Hussein of Jordan, the late father of the
present king, phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Hussein threatened Netanyahu that he would place Beads and Kendall on
trial if the Mossad did not immediately provide an antidote to save
Meshal's life. He warned that if Israel did not cooperate, the
agents' confessions to interrogators would be sent to U.S. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright, their Canadian passports would be made
available to the media, and the whole matter would be turned into an
Hours later, an Israeli military plane flew into Jordan with the
antidote, and Meshal's life was saved.
The Mossad agents, Beads and Kendall (not their real names), were
handed over to the Canadian Embassy in Amman and then driven across
the Allenby Bridge linking Jordan to Israel.
After the episode, Israel assured Canada that the Mossad would never
again use Canadian documents, but they have not kept their promise.
In response, the Canadian authorities have been silent.
A file on the New Zealand affair has been sent to the Canadians but
it is not expected that they will investigate if Barkan and his team
had ever been in Canada. The same goes for Australia, which has not
commented, even though Cara, one of the New Zealand scam artists, had
been based in the Australian capital for several years, running a
bogus travel agency.
Presently, Australia is one of George Bush's major allies in the Iraq
coalition. With the United States remaining quiet about the New
Zealand affair, it is expected Australia will ignore the issue.
Mossad's strategy of scamming passports, even from cerebral palsy
victims, has not shocked those who have studied the spy agency. It is
believed the Mossad has also targeted other small nations regarded as
"inoffensive" in the Arab world-nations like Sweden, Denmark,
Belgium, Ireland and Norway.
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