Migrants harness Facebook to procure fake Syrian passports for up to £1,300
Increasingly sophisticated people smuggling gangs are taking to social media to offer economic migrants safe passage and fake Syrian passports to access Europe, according to reports in The Telegraph.
The going rate for a forged Syrian passport is currently set at up to £1,300 as a roaring black market trade takes off courtesy of the ongoing chaos in Syria itself. This has seen genuine blank documents looted from government offices along with the machines used to print them.
As such all that is required is a photograph of the migrant to produce a forgery that is indistinguishable from the real deal.
One of the most popular routes to obtain these is The Traveller’s Platform Facebook group where smugglers communicate directly with 120,000 members to discuss their requirements.
An undercover reporter for the paper found that fake documentation was just a mouse click and telephone call away on Facebook, with one smuggler promising ‘very safe’ passage from Turkey to Greece in a rubber dinghy for a £2,000 fee.
The offer was made by a smuggler calling himself Modar Alnabwany, who also warned of fake documentation: “It is possible, but it will cost you a lot – about $1,500 to $2,000 (£1,000 - £1,300). It’s not guaranteed that it will work, as it’s forged, so there is a danger you will be discovered.”
Genuine Syrian refugees have warned that the ongoing chaos in Europe is undermining their chance of asylum as migrants from across the Middle East and Africa take advantage of open borders to make the crossing.