SCHIEDAMThe police last night prevented an attack on the printing Elba Schiedam. The building in 's-Graveland polder printed the controversial new model passport. The activists of the hitherto unknown No. Pasanar wanted stabbing the building on fire.

Probably the activists are disturbed by the police. The Schiedam police were alarmed by the anti-intrusion system.

According to Commissioner J. P. Hoff of the municipal police in Schiedam have found jerrycans at the printing. There are also found inflammation. When police arrived on the scene, the activists had disappeared.

The found items are sent for laboratory testing.

Not pass

Police and printing company say they have no idea who is behind the attack. NRC Handelsblad and the Volkskrant is a letter delivered by the Revolutionary Command No Pasaran '.

The declaration, which consists of ten edges, activists say that six jerrycans petrol used. Also there were six charges ready to cause an explosion.

The members of No Pasaran (means: Forbidden access) Elba hold responsible for the introduction of the new tamper-resistant passport European model.

In the letter, the action group writes that the new passport 'means an intensification of the repressive function of the state'. The new passport is greater control of the government to the citizens as possible.

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tight security

The new passports are made in a special section of Elba, where KEP is located, a collaboration between Kodak, Elba Philips. Thirty people work. Of these twelve busy developing software for passport.

How strict security is at Elba revealed this week when journalists Dutch newspaper could look around the factory in Schiedam. Shooting was absolutely not allowed and the staff can not simply the property on or off. The KEP staff is strictly separated from the rest of the staff at the Elba-building.

The new passport must put an end to the relatively easy way the current passport may be forged. Now the pasted image can be changed easily. The personal data can be easily erased.

The development of the passport is a race against the clock. We are working for four years on the passport. In 1986 A contract was signed with the consortium of Kodak, Elba in Pilips. The new passport was on 1 January should be introduced, but it is still not sure whether the passport as fraud-proof as was promised.

Hoe ging het verder?

On the left gear traces found in the failed arson at Elba of René Roemersma, one of the key members of the "action group" Rara. Op 11 april 1988, less than three months after the attack, opgpakt are in Amsterdam, three women and five men.

Roemersma sentenced in August to five years in prison for arson at Elba. On appeal he was acquitted of attacks at the Makro. The penalty is reduced to one and a half years in prison, six of which were conditionally. Of the eight suspects he is the only person convicted.

In 2010 Roemersma that he gave was behind the attacks at Makro in an episode of Other Times. Those cases were barred, and he could not be prosecuted for. On other reclining he wanted nothing lost, such as the attack on the house of Labor Secretary Kosto.

The passport

In hindsight stop at Elba was completely unnecessary. The project was in itself more than enough problems. In April showed that the introduction of the passport had to be delayed again. then the House proposed an inquiry into who had to figure out where it had gone wrong. was later a committee of inquiry.

This showed that the requirements were not clear, There was little to steer government. The development of the passport must be proceed, until show that in November 1988 Passport still not come through the tests. Minister Hans van der Broek deletes the contract KEP. A month later, KEP BV bankrupt. Then comes a new passport from the Government Printing Office.

The passport affair leads almost to a political crisis, but CDA and VVD said the case is not important enough to risk a crisis. Minister of Defense resigned Eekelen. He was in the previous cabinet as Secretary of State responsible for passport. The then State Secretary Van der Linden (Lip) must resign.

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One of the biggest losers in the story may Will Beard, Director of printing Elba, where KEP was housed. He tried 60 get million guilders, where he would be entitled to, but how that thing is over, is niet duidelijk.

In retrospect, eight years later, Beard says that he 115 people had to lay off the entire debacle. That equates to almost all the staff at Elba.

He says he 35 million guilders has lost the passport affair. He may start a new printing Willpower, which is now known under the name Press Desk.


TVNZ – 26-01-1988 – Assault on printing passports foiled

Dutch Newspaper – 26-01-1988 – 'Passport Factory’ full of secrets

Het Vrije Volk – 27-01-1988 – Attempted arson at passport printing Elba

Volkskrant – 27-01-1988 – Assault on printing passports failed

Het Vrije Volk – 05-03-1988 – Peppered claim of Elba government

Het Vrije Volk – 24-03-1988 – fierce Attack

Trouw – 19-10-1996 – Passport is in briefcase printer Beard

Wikipedia – René Roemersma

Wikipedia – Parliamentary inquiry into the passport affair

Text: Dave Datema

published: 25 januari 2018

story number: 61

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