Bangor City in Maine, United States. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bangor City in Maine, United States. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Filipino woman who faked her own death in the Philippines and stole her sister’s identity in order to get a US passport was arrested and may lose her US citizenship.

Emilita Arindela, 43, who lives in Mount Desert Island in Bangor, Maine in the US, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for making a false statement on her passport application and using her sister’s identity, WGME reported.

Prosecutors said that, when she married an American in 2000, Arindela was already married in the Philippines. The woman left her first husband due to abuse she suffered, but she was unable to get a divorce as it is not permitted in the Philippines.

Arindela then moved to the US in 2002 and took on her sister’s name and date of birth. In 2009, after gaining citizenship, Arindela had her name changed from her sister’s name to her real name. A year later, she applied for a US passport using her “new” name.

Despite hiding her identity for years, Arindela received a 10-day jail term, which she has already served, and one year of supervised release for making false statements on her passport application. She may also have her citizenship revoked.

In the US, the maximum penalty for making false statements is 10 years in prison and a fine of US$250,000.

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