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Fictional Passport Prices

 
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hiddenninja



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject: Fictional Passport Prices Reply with quote

Im writing a novel in which a character incurs gambling debts and then has his passport stolen and held ransom. He pays back his debt of 70,000 pesos and has his passport returned.

Are there any opinions as to how much would a passport fetch on the black market? Ive googled it but found nothing reliable. If its a lot more than 70,000 pesos, the plot falls apart a bit as the person he owes the money would just sell it immediately raher than wait to be paid the 70,000 back.

And yes, this is honestly all just for a novel, If i really wanted to sell my passport I know where I'd do it and it wouldnt be Mexico
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hiddenninja



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW- Its a UK passport in the novel
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 853
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why wouldn't the character just declare his passport stolen by unknown parties and go and get a new one? It would cost much less than 70,000. Does the plot account for this? Maybe the creditors have threatened him that they're watching him and they will harm him if he does so?
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I donīt think it would ring true, like something someone would actually do. I am not sure how useful a stolen passport would even be these days since there are all kinds of safeguards built in with facial recognition, etc.
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fladude



Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can buy a fake greencard on the border for about 50 bucks. Thieves don't need your passport, although they might want the information (passport #, your name, DOB, expiration date, etc....).

Edited to add: In case you want to know how I know this, I used to practice criminal defense and represented a dozen or so Mexican nationals who had bought those at the border. The Feds become suspicious when the ID number comes back as a French woman.... (especially if you are a hispanic male) which is why they might want your ID and information, but don't really care about the document itself.
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hiddenninja



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why wouldn't the character just declare his passport stolen by unknown parties and go and get a new one? It would cost much less than 70,000. Does the plot account for this? Maybe the creditors have threatened him that they're watching him and they will harm him if he does so?


THanks for the input:
In a way, the plot accounts for this...He also has his debit and credit cards and visa stolen, getting a passport with no money at all would be very difficult, he lives for a week on money lent him by a friend. He doesnt report it to the police as the man he owes has claimed connections to the police.

In fact the man who has all his documents stolen is only a friend of the man who incurs the debts. This acts as further encouragement for the second character to pay it back...he got his friend in the mess and wants to help him out of it

Quote:
Yeah, I donīt think it would ring true, like something someone would actually do. I am not sure how useful a stolen passport would even be these days since there are all kinds of safeguards built in with facial recognition, etc.


Again thanks for the input...the man who steals the passport doesnt aim to sell it, if passports or green cards are cheap and easy to obtain that actually helps the plot...he uses it purely as barter to get his money back. The passport is obv very useful for the character who has it stolen
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually don't think it would be that hard for him to just report it stolen and get a new one--even with little or no money---UNLESS he (or she) did not want to alert the US Embassy to his wear abouts.

For example. I once was going to hire a teacher, who was in Mexico on a tourist card without a passport--when that was still legal. But he needed a passport to get his work permit. BUT he didn't want to get a passport and tried to get us to let him work illegally, which we wouldn't do. Turns out he had skipped out on Child support payments. So he couldn't apply for a new passport without being hauled off.

In case you need another plot twist...
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