Singapore: With air passengers already irked over what is perceived to be overly intrusive security checks at airports, and European governments making a move to rein in some obnoxious features, Interpol may have once again set the cat amongst the pigeons by revealing that as many as 40,000 people may have travelled around the globe with lost or stolen travel documents in the recent past.
"Terrorists and dangerous criminals continue to move from one country to another on stolen, falsified or lost documents," Interpol chief Ronald K Noble informed the media in Singapore.
Stressing that the airline industry faced the "maximum threat" and "continues to be the prime target", he said, "Over past several months, we have scrutinised 490 million passports and identified about 40,000 such documents, which were lost or stolen. Travelling with such documents is the biggest threat (to aviation)."
These 40,000 travel documents belonged to 26 countries, which have since been informed by the Interpol, Noble said.
"Each government should focus on the non-nationals who want to come to their country. Visas should be issued after checking from the police (in the visitor's country). More information about people and their background should be collected (before giving visas)," he said.
Noble was in Singapore to attend the summit of the International Air Transport Association.