Document Security Training for front-line border management officials at Lahore Airport, Pakistan

Lahore, Pakistan: On 12 - 15 October 2020, the IBM Silk Routes project organised a training on document security for 22 front-line officers of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan working at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore.

Funded by the European Union, the training was organised to strengthen the capacity of the participating officers to detect forged documents and profile individuals which requires making important decisions during the initial document check before any further investigation. The fraudulent use of identity and travel documents presents a threat to the security of countries and their citizens, the economy, and global commerce as it facilitates a wide range of cross border related crimes and terrorism.

This basic level training is the third in a series targeting international air border crossing points across Pakistan The 22 officers deployed at the first and second line of control at Allama Iqbal International Airport received an introduction to key theoretical topics including Basic Document Awareness, Substrates, Printing Techniques, Additional Security Features, Technical and Tactical Profiling, Impostor and Morphing Detections well as several case studies based on international practices in this area.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reported that as of June 2019, the Allama Iqbal International Airport has served around 1 million domestic, and more than 3.4 million international passengers. This period has also seen a considerable amount of cargo passing through the airport, with around 10,000 metric tons of domestic and 78,000 metric tons of international goods in transit. These statistics make the airport one of the busiest in Pakistan.

One further basic level training workshop on document security is planned for officials working at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi in October 2020, with two additional advanced level training events planned for senior officers taking place in November and December.

The aim of this training programme is to enhance the operational capacities of border management agencies, as part of ICMPD and the EU’s support to Pakistan in improving capacities to effectively and efficiently manage national borders.