By Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro, on Thursday afternoon, June 6th, arrested three individuals attempting to obtain a visa to enter the United States with forged documents. The man who sold the forged papers was also arrested. They were caught in the act at the American Consulate in Rio.
Policemen from the delegation suspected the documentation submitted by three men from Governador Valadares, State of Minas Gerais, and called in the Rio Civil Police, which confirmed the fraud and arrested three applicants.
José Carlos de Sousa, 32; Francisco Dione Gonçalo, 24; and Diego Bartolomeu Assis, 22, admitted to the police they had paid US$13,000 (R$52,000) each to Merques Rosemberg de Carvalho, 29, to supply the false documents.
Merques was waiting outside the consulate and did not resist arrest. His accomplice, identified as Bruno Torres Ramos, managed to escape. The pair are also from Governador Valadares.
Paychecks, income tax returns, and other seized documents were falsified to show greater than true income of the applicants, suggesting strong reasons to return to Brazil.
The three individuals will answer to charges of using forged documents; Merques and his accomplice will answer for forgery.
Every Brazilian tourist wishing to visit the United States must apply for a visa. The process includes the completion of a long form and an interview in the consulate. Applicants must prove they have the means to cover trip expenses and show their intention to return to Brazil – what the USA calls “ties”.
The Immigration Department recommends that applicants bring copies of their paychecks and bank statements to the interview, or duly signed letters from their supervisors at work.