Police arrest 12 people for selling travel documents to refugees

21 November 2015
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Twelve people have been arrested in Lesvos by Greek police as suspected members of a criminal gang that supplied forged travel documents to refugees and migrants arriving on several Greek islands from Turkey and then transferred them to the mainland.

The suspects include a 28-year-old Pakistani national, believed by police to be the leader of the ring, three Greeks – two bookstore owners and their assistant – and another eight Pakistanis. The Greeks are thought to have forged the documents which they later sold for 150-200 euros per document to the refugees.

They face individual charges, including the establishment and participation in a criminal organization, forgery, drug possession and violation of migration laws.

In a large operation conducted jointly with the organized crime unit and after receiving information from the country’s anti-terror unit and the National Intelligence Service, police raided two apartments in the town of Mytilene, in which they found evidence of the forging operation. Authorities believe the suspects transported hundreds of migrants and refugees daily to the mainland.

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