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Police warn of watermark flaw in some Finnish passports

Police are calling on members of the public to return defective passports with upside-down watermarks and mismatched page number impressions and prints.

File photo of a Finnish passport. Image: Kimmo Hiltunen / Yle
Yle News

The National Police Board has called on border officials to be on the lookout for defective Finnish passports.

According to an announcement issued on Wednesday, police have received information indicating that the watermark on pages used for visas may be upside-down in some passports.

They are calling on Finnish passport holders to check their identity documents and return them to the authorities if the watermark is not in the correct position.

Story continues after photo.

Passport issued between 2012 and 2016 with watermark right side up. Image: Poliisi

They have said that the passport can still be used as a valid identity and travel document, even if the watermark is flawed.

However they cautioned that problems may emerge for passport holders who present a defective travel document for inspection at foreign borders.

In August, Yle reported that Russian border officials denied entry to a traveller with a defective passport.

Police have called on the public to take flawed passports to police stations that will issue a new one at no cost. The replacement document will have the same expiry date as the original.

According to officials, the flawed passports have watermarks printed upside-down. In passports issued between 2012 and 2016, the watermark is in the shape of a swan.

However in passports issued from 2017 onwards the watermark is a bear. The watermark can be easily detected by holding up the pages against the light.

In addition to the flawed watermark, the defective passports also have page number impressions that do not match the printed page numbers.

Police said that there are no other printing flaws or security marker defects in the passports.

Photos follow.

Passport issued between 2012 and 2016 with watermark upside-down. Image: Poliisi
Passport issued from 2017 onwards with watermark right side up. Image: Poliisi
Passport issued from 2017 onwards with watermark upside down. Image: Poliisi

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