Second fake-visa
arrest is made

Another Indonesian was stopped
a week ago in a similar case

For the second time in a week, an Indonesian citizen has been arrested here for entering the United States using passports with fake visas.

A man known as Harnoto made his first appearance in U.S. District Court on Tuesday on a charge of possessing a visa that was forged, counterfeited, altered and falsely made.

Federal prosecutors are not commenting on whether this case is linked to an earlier arrest at Honolulu Airport involving an Indonesian male who goes by the name Suyono, but the details of each case are similar.

Many Indonesians go by just one name.

Harnoto was stopped at Honolulu Airport on Sunday by Customs and Border Protection officers after getting off a Japan Airlines flight originating from Osaka.

He had in his possession two Indonesian passports that bore his photographs and identified him by another name. One of the passports had expired in August but contained a U.S. nonimmigrant visa that was valid until May 2006.

He also carried an Indonesian seaman's book that expires July 2008.

Harnoto was seeking admission to Hawaii so he could join the crew of a Japanese fishing vessel docked in Honolulu, the Kachi Maru 2, according to court documents filed in the case. He told officials his purpose in coming here was to find work and that he might stay for up to three years.

When asked to provide a letter of guarantee from the shipping agency handling Kachi Maru 2, Harnoto provided a letter from Hawaiian Tug and Barge Corp. that indicated he would be met at the airport and escorted to the Kachi Maru 2. Harnoto also provided an employment contract from the Indonesian company that recruited him to work here.

Customs officials checked Harnoto's paperwork and learned that another person had been issued the visas and passport numbers, indicating the photo might have been tampered with. The fingerprints on file for the person who had been issued the documents also did not match those of Harnoto.

Harnoto, through an Indonesian interpreter, later admitted his name was not what he had told them earlier and that he had obtained the documents from an agent in Jakarta and not from the proper passport-issuing office in Indonesia.

Currently in federal custody on a visa fraud charge is 29-year-old Suyono, who was detained by U.S. Customs after he got off a Japan Airlines flight at Honolulu Airport on July 13. He also presented Customs officials with two Indonesian passports, allegedly altered and belonging to another individual, whose photo did not match his.

Suyono also presented a letter from Hawaiian Tug, which was later confirmed to be fake. He claimed he had entered the United States to look for work at a restaurant for one or two years.

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