A Toronto woman trapped in Africa allowed Canadian officials to weigh, measure, photograph, fingerprint and swab her for DNA yesterday in a last-ditch attempt to prove her identity.

“They took my height, my reach, everything,” said Suaad Hagi Mohamud, a 31-year-old single mother stuck in Nairobi, Kenya, for more than two months, apparently for not looking enough like her passport photo.

Why Ottawa would go to such security extremes remains a mystery but a possible explanation surfaced.

“They want to make sure we don’t switch people,” said Mohamud’s Toronto lawyer, Raoul Boulakia, citing a hypothesis he says came last week from a justice department lawyer.

Maybe Mohamud loaned her passport to her sister in Kenya, the theory goes, or to some other look-alike.

Maybe it was the sister, not Mohamud, who tried to leave Kenya for Toronto on May 17. And maybe a Kenyan passport officer arrested and jailed the sister, not Mohamud, saying her lips don’t match those in the passport photo.

By documenting Mohamud every which way, the proposition goes, Canadian authorities are certain to let the right person proceed to Toronto.

“I asked them, ‘What are you talking about?’” said Boulakia, finding the explanation hard to follow.

Both Toronto-based justice department lawyers on the case, Peter Southey and Gregory George, denied floating any such scenario.

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