Once again it remains unclear how Iranians successfully traveled throughout Turkey unnoticed with counterfeit Israeli Passports or why they too sought to gain entry into Bulgaria posing as Israelis.
Three Iranians traveling with fake Israeli passports were detained in Bulgaria over the weekend, according to a report at The Sofia Globe.
According to the report, the men were detained at the Bulgarian border as they were attempting to cross the Kapitan Andreevo crossing into Turkey, which is the major transit point for entering Europe.
The three men, aged 21, 28 and 32 arrived on October 31 and carried Israeli passports that had been “falsified,” the Interior Ministry told the Bulgarian media.
They were detained by border police and then taken to a detention center in Lyubimets in the southeast of the country where “fast track proceedings against them” were initiated. This appears to be a way to deport them.
The intention of the three Iranians posing as Israelis who were arrested in Bulgaria last weekend is unclear. It is also unclear how they managed to travel through Turkey without being detected.
This is not the first time, Iranian citizens were caught using fake Israeli passports.
- Iranian couple sentenced by Kenyan court for possessing forged Israeli passports
- Iranian family buy Israeli passports to enter Vancouver
In July, an Iranian national, Esmaeil Kazem Hosseinitaghi, 42, was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport, traveling on a falsified Israeli passport, and was then returned to Kathmandu where he had flown in from, the Himalayan Times reported.
According to the report, Hosseinitaghi procured the passport in Turkey and was planning to travel to Europe.
“It is easier to enter Europe with a Israeli passport. I used to keep a passport in my pocket and show another passport to the airport immigration officials,” the Iranian national told immigration officials.
“The man said that he faced security threat in his home country and therefore wanted to flee to Europe for his safety. He wanted to settle in Europe with his family,” the report quoted Hosseinitaghi.
In early 2016, an Iranian couple was caught in an airport in India traveling with both Iranian and fake Israeli passports. The couple was arrested at Chennai Airport before they could board a British Airways flight, the New Indian Express reported.
The travelers arrived in Chennai on a domestic flight from Goa, where the passports were forged, and were questioned by Indian intelligence agencies.
According to the report, the woman was living in Pune for the last ten years, while the man was working in Goa. After getting married, they planned to settle in the US and they worked out a plan to forge Israeli passports as a means to enter the country.
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