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PICA urges JPs to obey the law, one arrested, several being watched

Published:Thursday | July 30, 2015 | 7:49 PM

The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) is urging Justices of the Peace and Lay Magistrates to play their part in helping to ensure the integrity of the passport system.

According to PICA, JPs and Lay Magistrates must ensure that the persons whose documents they certify are known to them.

Chief Executive Officer for PICA, Jennifer McDonald says one JP has been arrested so far this year, for the offence.

She says 13 more have come under the radar of the Agency’s Investigation and Surveillance Unit.

Their offences include making false declarations, collecting fees for services rendered, acting as document facilitators and certifying documents without the client appearing in their presence.

According to Mcdonald, it's important these breaches do not occur as the agency is dependent on JPs and Lay Magistrates to provide the level of scrutiny that is necessary to protect the State.