Taiwanese buy fake Filipino passports to attend American school

Taiwanese buy forged Philippine passports to enable children to attend Asia American International Academy

(Department of Foreign Affairs photo)

(Department of Foreign Affairs photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Wang Chuan-hung (王權宏) the owner of an immigration consulting firm was released on bail on Tuesday (May 21) after being questioned by prosecutors for allegedly selling fake Philippine passports to Taiwanese to enable them to attend American international schools.

According to Ministry of Education regulations, Taiwanese who wish to attend American schools must have passports from a foreign country. The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) alleges that Wang's immigration consulting firm Chau Morn Consultants offered more than 10 Taiwanese students forged Philippine passports to enable them to attend American schools in Taiwan.

Prosecutors allege that Wang charged each student NT$100,000 for a fake Philippine passport, reported UDN. Including Wang, prosecutors have thus far questioned six people in connection to the scam.

Asia American International Academy (AAIA), which first opened its doors in 2016, is one of the schools that the Taiwanese clients allegedly tried to use fake Philippine passports to enroll in. The school's curriculum is synchronized with that of California schools and students must hold a foreign passport to be eligible to attend, with preference given to U.S. passports.

Wang (left). (CNA photo)

Like Taipei American School (TAS), the school is approved by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan. Students are also required to take an English aptitude test when applying.

During an interview with CNA, Wang claimed that the passports had been acquired through overseas compatriots and officials and "They are all real stuff [passports]." He also claimed that shining the passports through ultraviolet light did not reveal any abnormalities."

Wang claimed that his intention was to enable children to enter overseas Chinese schools. He said that he was just trying to help out, he was not proactively providing the service, and the number of recipients was small.

Prosecutors alleged that Wang's company sold counterfeit Philippine passports to parents who wanted their children to attend AAIA. After being questioned by prosecutors, Wang was released on NT$1 million bail (NT$31,000) on Tuesday (May 21), and a ban was imposed prohibiting him from overseas travel, reported CNA.