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CBP Officers Identify a Burundi Woman Attempting to Enter Country Posing as Deceased Friend

Release Date: 
March 31, 2010

Newark, N.J. - On Friday afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Newark Liberty International Airport intercepted a 47-year-old woman who attempted to use the passport and visa of a dead woman to enter the U.S.

Ms. Norah Kaneza, a citizen of Burundi which is a small country located in East Africa, arrived in Newark Airport on a flight from Amsterdam late Friday afternoon. CBP officers were alerted by the flight crew that a female passenger onboard the aircraft needed emergency medical assistance.

CBP officers assisted while Emergency Medical Technician were in route. The woman presented a passport belonging to Madina Nahimana, a 50-year-old Burundi citizen, which contained a visitor's visa. CBP reviewed the woman's documents and determined the woman to be an imposter. The passenger, who only speaks Swahili, appeared lethargic and was unable to communicate with the officers and EMTs.

Due to the suspicious nature of the woman's travel documents CBP officers escorted her to the medical facility. A fingerprint check was conducted by the officers at the medical facility and an analysis of the prints revealed that the woman was indeed an imposter.

Through a Swahili translator the woman revealed her true identity. She told officers that she had acquired the passport and visa of Madina Nahimina, who recently died in Burundi.

After her release from the medical facility, Ms. Kaneza was processed as an expedited removal based on fraud charges and was returned to Burundi on Saturday. Immigration charges against the woman carry a 5-year ban from the United States.

"CBP's role in identifying individuals who attempt to illegally enter the U.S. is critical to our nation's security," said Robert E. Perez, director, Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in New York. "The Interception of this passenger further demonstrates the skills and expertise of our highly trained officers."

CBP officers at Newark Airport continue to conduct intensified special operations in response to the Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017