To be honest I’ve only been paying a little attention to the whole Garrett-fake-passport thing. But it did strike me that, regardless of reason, obtaining a fake passport is a pretty major offence so I wanted to learn a little more.
As far as I can gather from various articles Garrett obtained a birth certificate for a dead child, created a false application including a false reference to support it, and then after actually getting his super-spy fake papers he thought better of it and destroyed the fake passport.
So what offences have been committed? I’m no lawyer, but there seem a number of offences here under the Passports Act –
Section 29A – Forged and false New Zealand Travel Documents – which is punishable by 10 years in prison and/od a fine up to $250,000. This is by obtaining or being in possession of a false passport.
Section 32 – False representations – punishable by 5 years and/or $15,000. This was by making false statements on the application (possibly two counts – one for the form, and one for the fake referee)
Section 31 – Other offences (subsection 2) – by intentionally destroying a passport. This is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
They are not trivial offences.