Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Monday, August 24, 1998 Published at 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK

World: Europe

Belgium takes measures to end passport theft

The Belgian government is handing over the distribution of passports to a private company, following complaints from other countries that an increasing number of them were falling into the hands of the criminal underworld.

Belgium currently has about six-hundred passport offices, which have constantly been raided -- last year alone, three to four thousand passports disappeared.

The stolen passports -- giving access to the European Union, the United States and Canada -- are then sold for up to two-and-a-half-thousand dollars each.

A BBC correspondent in Brussels says the decision to centralise the distribution of passports has been a difficult one for a country riven by tensions between its French and Flemish communities.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift