Losses and thefts of passports continue to decline: MOFA
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.