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U.S. Senators pressure China after FOX Files investigation

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A Chinese web site exposed by FOX 2 for selling fake IDs is now shut down.  Investigative reporter Chris Hayes explains how U.S. Senators intervened after our first report.

Our fake IDs came in a package from China and were disguised to get through customs.  The package looked like it was just a wallet until I pulled up the false box bottom and unwrapped my new fake drivers licenses.

Four U.S. Senators, including Illinois’ Dick Durbin, took action.  They wrote the Chinese ambassador to investigate.

Sen. Durbin explained, “After we sent the letter protesting this web site, they closed it down.  I don’t know if the letter did it or not, but at least we called their attention to it.”

If you look at a real I.D. and our fake, side by side, they’re nearly identical.  We found tiny variations.  Look closely at our fake and you’ll see ‘blu’ instead of ‘blue’ eyes.  The real ID spells it out.  Look at the tiny state emblem and you’ll see our fake has more color. 

The differences are almost imperceptible, even under a black light, which is often used to spot fake IDs.  Put a fake under a black light and you’ll even see hidden security features, like abbreviations of the issuing state repeated on the back.

Durbin said he immediately saw it as a bigger problem than just underage drinking.  He explained, “I think more about the people getting on airplanes, people that say they’re one person that they’re not and have an ID that’s credible enough to get them through the line.  That very thing defeats the purpose of security at the airport.”

The Chinese web site was called ID Chief and it was the most popular seller of fakes.  Durbin added, though it`s shut down, “That’s not the end of the story.  There are going to be other sources and other web sites.  We have to be vigilant.”

Durbin says it’s crucial not only to stamp down on other sellers of fake IDs, but also to improve the way the United States makes the real thing.

Join Chris on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV


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