Ireland decides not to recall passports

Dublin won't replace 2.5m. documents of type used in Dubai hit.

August 20, 2010 10:10
1 minute read.
CCTV footage from Dubai.

dubai cctv 311. (photo credit: AP)


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The Irish Foreign Affairs Department has decided not to recall  2.5 million Irish passports issued before 2005 in the aftermath of the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai earlier this year, when eight forged Irish passports were used by members of the suspected hit team, the daily Irish Times reported on Friday.

The department's Passport Service had considered recalling the documents after it emerged that all the forged passports were imitations of the Irish passports issued before sophisticated security features were added to the document in 2005.

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Ireland expels Israeli diplomat

The recall cost, estimated at 40 million euros, was the prime reason for the decision against issuing a passport recall, according to the Irish Times report. The high estimated cost for the recall was determined based in part on the logistical problems that would be caused by attempting to add 2.5 million passport requests to the current processing load at the Passport Service.

Ireland expelled an Israeli diplomat on June, in reaction to the Mabhouh assassination.

The move was an expression of displeasure by the Irish government over the use of forged Irish and other countries' passports in the suspected Mossad hit, though Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin stated that Dublin had not found any direct evidence connecting Israel to the use of Irish passports. The decision to expel the diplomat, he said, was prompted by evidence found by other countries whose passports had been forged, which implicated Israel in the act.

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