• Kyodo


An unidentified man headed for Japan after fraudulently acquiring a press accreditation pass for the soccer World Cup.

He had disguised himself as a British newspaper reporter, South Korean police said Sunday.

South Korean police are trying to track the man down in cooperation with Japanese investigators. Not knowing his intentions, they fear he could be a terrorist, officials said.

It is the first known case in which a press pass for the event, which runs for a month from May 31, has been obtained through fraudulent means.

The man is said to have visited an office of the World Cup organizing committee in Seoul on May 16. He obtained the accreditation pass by taking on the identity of a reporter with the Sunday Mirror.

The case came to light when the real Mirror reporter visited the same office May 24 to apply for an accreditation card himself, police said.

The man had is believed to have entered Japan on May 20, and then to have headed for Los Angeles late last week, they said.

Press pass holders have access to press centers and stadiums both in Japan and South Korea during the event.

When reporters apply for accreditation cards, they are required to show identification documents, such as passports.

Police suspect that the man may have used a forged or altered passport to obtain the card. The Mirror reporter is said to have lost his passport in 1999.

Some accreditation officials have raised concerns about lax security.

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