US officials discover Hungary passport fraud scheme

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials have identified a passport fraud scheme in Hungary that has allowed people to enter the U.S. under false identities.

Officials say that U.S. Customs and Border Protection's National Targeting Center notified the U.S. Embassy in Budapest of an Interpol notice on an individual who had fraudulently obtained a Hungarian passport that led to the scheme's discovery.

The issue was first reported Thursday by the Washington Post.

The newspaper reported that about 700 non-Hungarians have fraudulently obtained Hungarian passports and that at least 85 of them have attempted to travel to the U.S.

The Post cites a Department of Homeland Security document that says 65 of those successfully entered the U.S.

DHS declined to confirm the numbers. But spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea says anyone violating immigration laws is subject to arrest.

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