Syrian nabbed with fake Israeli passport, ‘worst forgery of all time’

It could be the “worst forgery of all time,” Israeli officials chuckle, with Hebrew words upside down and a misspelling even in English.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A Syrian national was caught recently in Barbados trying to board a flight to Germany with a badly forged Israeli passport, the local authorities announced Tuesday.

The fake was so terrible that Israeli officials chuckled that it was “a candidate for the worst forgery of all time.”

Almost every word in Hebrew in the document presented by “Hormuz Assulin” to passport control was misspelled. Many had final letters coming in the middle of words. Others were turned into complete gibberish. For example, the passport was ostensibly issued in Jerusalem, but on the Hebrew side, the city’s name was the product of a computer’s imagination.

Although probably few in the Caribbean nation actually read Hebrew, one notable error in the language could hardly be missed: While the nationality stated in English was “Israeli,” in Hebrew the word was nonsense – and turned upside down.

Another very obvious mistake was in the translation of “Israel” as Assulin’s birthplace. Although the word is spelled (almost) correctly at the top of the page, it didn’t even come close on this middle line, where “Greece” is typed in badly spelled Hebrew.

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If even all that went unnoticed, there was one mistake in English as well, with the word “expiry” gaining an unnecessary “a” in the middle. The highly trained staff also spotted an Israeli border control stamp dated August 3, 2022, which they knew had to be fake because it’s been years since the state has used such stamps.

The authorities in Barbados got in touch with their counterparts in Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority (PIA) and arrested the would-be passenger. A search of his luggage turned up a Syrian passport with a picture of the same man.

“The keyword in solving these cases and learning good lessons is fruitful working relationships between authorities from the various countries of the world,” said Eran Zahavi, Deputy Head of the Border Control Administration at the PIA.

According to Zahavi, fake Israeli passports are much in demand.

“Every such case that is brought to us only strengthens the knowledge that the Israeli passport is a sought-after and powerful passport in the world,” he said.

Over recent years, Ynet reported, the border control in several countries, including Canada, Ecuador and the Netherlands, have contacted PIA about forgeries.