Police have arrested a group of con men they say arranged counterfeit tourist visas for dozens of Israeli youths currently in the United States illegally.
Police believe the men were working for a company that publicized online commercials to help Israelis secure tourist visas to the United States. Inspector Tsurin Bar, head of the Tel Aviv branch of the police anti-fraud taskforce said police believe young people contacted the company, after seeing these adverts. They said the company worked in collaboration with a US company that employs young, post-army Israelis to sell cosmetic supplies at kiosks at malls across America.
The company would ask the young people to produce a series of requirements for a tourist visa, typically a proof of enrollment in an institute of higher learning, in order to show that they do not intend to stay in the US indefinitely. Those who didn't have the requisite documents were told that the company could arrange counterfeit documents for them for a fee, Bar said.
The company procured the services of a graphic designer in the Negev, who forged the university enrollment documents or employment records, and would then invite the young people in for counseling on what to tell US Embassy officials in Tel Aviv during their visa interview, Bar said.
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