Trieste Police Launch Specialized Unit to Combat Document Fraud

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by InTrieste

In a move aimed at bolstering public safety and tackling the sophisticated issue of document fraud, the Local Police of Trieste have introduced a specialized Document Fraud Unit. The announcement was made at a press conference this morning in the Municipal Executive Board Room, attended by key officials including Councilor for City Safety Policies Caterina De Gavardo, Local Police Commander Walter Milocchi, and Deputy Commissioner Gianmarco Pavan.

Councilor De Gavardo, instrumental in the unit’s creation, stated, “Since September 2020, we have been monitoring and verifying potential fraudulent documents within the Local Police, but it was not a structured and continuous service. Recognizing the growing need, we established this dedicated unit two months ago, joining a select group of Northern Italian cities like Verona, Venice, and Milan.”

The unit’s members frequently provide consultancy and training to other law enforcement bodies. “Just last June, they trained 30 officers from other Local Police forces in the region, highlighting the unique expertise and capabilities of our team,” De Gavardo noted.

This new unit will not only conduct proactive and scheduled checks but also support road patrols during routine inspections. Its primary focus is on the road transport sector, where document fraud is prevalent. “The road transport sector is complex and often international, requiring specialized knowledge. Our unit scrutinizes all types of documents to ensure compliance with European regulations,” De Gavardo explained.

Commander Milocchi emphasized the importance of these checks for public safety. “Many non-Italian drivers have irregular documentation. Our collaboration with the Civil Motorization Authority and municipal registry services is crucial to address these issues,” he said.

Since the inception of the Document Fraud Laboratory in 2020, over 400 suspicious documents have been verified, including driver’s licenses, identity cards, transport licenses, passports, and residence permits. Of these, 22 were identified as fraudulent, comprising 21 driver’s licenses (12 non-EU and 9 EU) and one European Union identity card.

Deputy Commissioner Pavan outlined the unit’s operational methods, which include portable devices for initial roadside verification and more sophisticated equipment at the station for detailed checks. “This ensures we can detect even the most sophisticated fraudulent documents,” Pavan stated.

Among the significant cases handled by the unit were:

  • An Italian semi-trailer driven by a Romanian with falsified Romanian documents, including a driver’s license and professional qualification card. Further investigation revealed the driver held a suspended Italian license.
  • A Bulgarian vehicle performing unregistered cabotage, resulting in a 2,500-euro fine for the vehicle owner due to unfair competition.
  • A Slovenian vehicle with inadequate load securing straps and a non-compliant tachograph, leading to fines and the seizure of the instrument.

Other notable interventions included multiple violations of driving/rest times and speeding by drivers from various nationalities.

As document forgery techniques evolve, the Document Fraud Unit aims to stay ahead. “Our unit is in continuous evolution, mirroring the ever-changing tactics of forgers,” De Gavardo concluded.

Interview: Councilor for City Safety Policies Caterina De Gavardo; Deputy Commissioner Gianmarco Pavan

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