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Possessing or Destroying Another Person’s Travel or Identity Document

Possessing or destroying another person’s travel or identity document is an offence under section 73.11 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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

  1. You took possession of, or destroyed, another person’s travel or identity document
  2. You did so intending to conceal the other person’s identity or nationality
  3. You intended, by doing so, to organise or facilitate the entry of the other person into a foreign country
  4. The entry of the other person would not comply with the foreign country’s entry requirements, and
  5. You obtained, or intended to obtain, a direct or indirect benefit for your conduct.

A ‘travel document’ may include:

  1. A passport, or
  2. A national identity card which can be used for travel purposes.

An ‘identity document’ may include:

  1. A driver or rider licence
  2. A birth certificate, or
  3. A proof of age card.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Necessity
  2. Duress, and
  3. Self-defence.

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