Niagara Falls, N.Y. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the arrest of a Chinese citizen on charges of false claim to citizenship, misuse of a passport and false statements.
On August 29, CBP officers encountered a 28-year-old female as she applied for admission as a passenger in a taxi at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The subject presented a Korean passport as proof of citizenship and identity and advised the primary officer that she was en route to the local casino. Initial examination of the presented document revealed what appeared to be inconsistencies on the biographic page. The subject was referred to CBP secondary enforcement for verification of her immigration status.
Upon further inspection of her presented document, CBP officers noticed that the photograph contained on the biographic page of the passport did not bear an exact resemblance to the individual claiming ownership. CBP officers then utilized a unique computer system which employs color and infrared video imaging designed for the examination of suspect documents. This inspection revealed that the passport was valid; however, the biographical page had been altered with the subject's photograph. A query of the subject's fingerprints resulted in the discovery of a record indicating the prints were not those of a Korean citizen but rather belonged YinHua JIN, a 28-year-old Chinese citizen. Record checks revealed that Jin was denied a US visa in December 2009 at the Guangzhou post.
A personal search of the subject's luggage revealed a Chinese identification card bearing the name YinHua JIN and contained a photograph of the subject. An airline ticket from Air China issued to YinHua JIN was also discovered.
Jin was arrested by CBP officers on federal charges of false statements and forgery/false use of a passport. She is being detained pending prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York.