Security fears as man charged with forgery

Release date: 15/06/2011

A Sydney man has been charged with forging national airport security cards - a key component of Australia's national security regime - after representing himself to several airport cleaning companies as a legitimate card supplier.

Dylan Welch, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 15, 2011

Domingo Antonio Urrozsotomayor faced a Sydney court yesterday after being charged with more than 60 offences relating to forging Commonwealth documents and money laundering.

Mr Urrozsotomayor, 44, is accused of using a computer and printer to forge as many as 100 fake Aviation Security Identification Cards, known as ASICs.

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He is charged with representing himself as a legitimate card issuer to cleaning contractors at Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane airports, and then getting him to pay his ''fees'' in cash.

Federal police arrested Mr Urrozsotomayor at his home in Prestons in south-western Sydney in March, and during a search found more than 100 ASIC application forms as well as 34 forged cards. He later provided dozens more forged cards to police.

Yesterday Mr Urrozsotomayor faced court, charged with 62 offences including 51 counts of forgery and several offences under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

The cards and the group that oversees them, the Office of Transport Security, have been criticised for lax security measures, including poor background checks and poor record keeping.

The system governing ASICs and their maritime equivalent, MSICs, is due to be overhauled this year.

In May the federal Auditor-General found there were large security holes at Australia's air and sea ports due to failings in the card system, stating that more than 10,000 of the cards were not recorded on the system's central database.

The national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, Tony Sheldon, said the ASIC system was not working.

''We don't know who is doing the work. Just months ago in Canberra, a contracted cleaning company was found to be working for Qantas where only one of the seven guys working had an ASIC - and one of them was working illegally on a student visa,'' he said.

Click here to read the story on the SMH website

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