Losses and thefts of pass­ports con­tinue to decline: MOFA

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs ( MOFA) yes­ter­day said that the num­ber of R.O.C. pass­ports re­ported stolen or lost has con­tin­ued to drop over the past few years with the in­tro­duc­tion of e-pass­ports.

MOFA spokes­woman Anna Kao ( ) yes­ter­day said the lat­est num­ber of pass­ports re­ported stolen or miss­ing in 2014 stood at around 20,000, or 1.45 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of pass­ports is­sued an­nu­ally.

The ra­tio is not higher than those of other coun­tries, she said.

The num­ber is a sig­nif­i­cant drop from 2008, which stood at 2.62 per­cent, be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of bio­met­ric e-pass­ports that con­tain chips to store the holder’s per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, she noted.

Kao made the com­ments in re­sponse to a Con­trol Yuan re­port re­leased Wed­nes­day that said the re­ported num­ber of stolen or lost Tai­wanese pass­ports has con­tin­ued to climb in re­cent years.

The re­port said over 200,000 Tai­wanese pass­ports were re­port­edly lost or stolen over the past five years.

The gov­ern­ment watch­do­gre­leased re­port called on the For­eign Min­istry to work with re­lated gov­ern­ment units to strengthen the se­cu­rity of R.O.C. pass­ports and to make sure that th­ese stolen or miss­ing pass­ports will not be used by hu­man traf­fick­ers or smug­glers.

Also, nearly 20 per­cent of all stolen or miss­ing pass­ports were re­ported stolen or miss­ing over­seas, the re­port com­piled by Con­trol Yuan mem­bers Jane Chi­ang ( ), Bau Tzong-ho ( ) and Wang Mei-yu ( ) said.

The Con­trol Yuan mem­bers also call on the min­istry to bet­ter ed­u­cate the Tai­wanese public to take bet­ter care of their pass­ports, es­pe­cially when vis­it­ing a for­eign coun­try.

In re­sponse, Kao yes­ter­day said the min­istry has full re­spect for the Con­trol Yuan re­port.

But she noted that the rate of pass­ports re­ported stolen or miss­ing has in fact been drop­ping in re­cent years.

Only around 130,000 were re­ported miss­ing over the past five years, she noted.

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