Taiwan will deport an Italian man who has lived in Taiwan using the passport of a deceased US citizen for more than a decade, the National Immigration Agency said on Monday.
The man had made dozens of entries to Taiwan over the past 12 years using a US passport with his own name that was originally obtained by taking the identity of the deceased American nearly 30 years ago, according to an immigration official.
He was caught when trying to renew the passport at the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which then reported the man to the immigration agency, the official said.
The middle-aged man, who was detained in New Taipei City (新北市), is to be deported back to Italy “in the near future,” the official said.
While in the US in the 1980s, the man pretended to be the deceased American, who was roughly the same age as him, and successfully applied for a birth certificate and other identity cards in his name. The Italian national was able to do so because at that time, agencies in the US responsible for recording births and deaths were not connected by computers, the official said.
According to a local media report, the man later went to the Philippines, where he changed the name of his passport back to his original Italian name at the US embassy in 1993.
Though it was unclear how the AIT picked up on the fraud when the Italian man tried to renew the passport, the immigration official thought US authorities may have checked on the name change and found that the name in the original passport was a deceased man’s.