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Obtaining an Air Passenger Ticket with False Information Using a Carriage Service

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Obtaining an air passenger ticket with false information using a carriage service is an offence under section 376.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You used identification information
  2. You did so with a carriage service
  3. Your conduct resulted in a passenger ticket being obtained for a flight, whether for you or another person
  4. Your information was false in relation to the person who took, or intended to take, the flight
  5. You were reckless as to whether the information would be used to identify the passenger or intended passenger on a flight, and
  6. The flight started or ended in Australia.

‘Identification information’ is that which relates to a person, whether dead or alive, real or fictitious, that is capable of being used to identify the person, whether by itself or in conjunction with other information.

It includes:

  1. A name, address, date or place of birth, marital status, relative’s identity
  2. A driver licence or driver licence number
  3. A passport or passport number
  4. A voice print or biometric data
  5. A credit or debit card, its number or data stored or encrypted on it
  6. A financial account number, user name or password
  7. A digital signature
  8. Any series of numbers and/or letters intended for use as personal information, and
  9. An ABN.

Identification information is false if it is false in a material particular that affects the capacity of the information to be used, whether by itself or with other information or documents to identify a person.

A ‘carriage service’ is:

‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’, which includes telephone calls, text messages and internet transmissions, such as emails and the use of social media pages.

An ‘air passenger ticket for a flight’ is:

‘a ticket, or electronic record, on the basis of which a person is treated as being entitled to travel as a passenger on the flight, or a journey that includes a flight’.

You were ‘reckless’ if you aware there was a substantial risk that the identification information would be used to identify the passenger, and it was unjustifiable to take that risk in the circumstances, but you went ahead with your actions regardless.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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