Fake birth certificate cases being examined

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Fake birth certificate cases being examined

Police arrested brokers who issued forged birth certificates for babies born between Korean and illegal Vietnamese immigrants in an attempt to give the mixed-blood children Korean citizenship.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency said yesterday that it arrested two Koreans and a Vietnamese woman on charges of document fabrication.

The police also indicted 28 others without detention on charges of helping the brokers.

According to the police, from July 2009 until now, the brokers issued fake birth certificates to Vietnamese women in Korea who illegally entered Korea and lived with Korean men without getting married. The brokers also helped their babies obtain Korean citizenship.

“It is really a new type of crime,” police said.

“The brokers knew that Vietnamese women who have children out of wedlock are not qualified to get a legal birth certificate for their babies under the current law,” the police said.

Police said the brokers helped send some of the babies to Vietnam because their mothers were living in an underprivileged environment and could not raise them well in Korea.

The mothers also wanted to send their children to Vietnam where the babies’ grandparents could take care of them.

Police said 28 babies with illegal birth certificates received Korean nationality and have already returned to Vietnam.

At the broker’s office in Incheon, police seized photos and passports of 60 babies who were supposed to fly soon to Vietnam.

The Vietnamese mothers were planning to bring the babies back to Korea after a few years, as interracial children of Korean citizenship are allowed to attend Korean elementary and middle schools, which are free of charge, and travel freely between Vietnam and Korea.

The Vietnamese mothers paid 7 million won ($6,273) to the brokers for issuing fake certificates and citizenship.

Police said it will investigate the cases of 1,700 babies, who were taken from Korea to Vietnam and have not returned yet, on suspicion that the babies could have been sent by the brokers.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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