(Greece) – According to Europol, the European Union’s agency that focuses on counter terrorism, fake passports that have been linked to alleged members of ISIL, or the Islamic State Group, have been found at some of the refugee camps that are located in Greece. Europol officials have conducted an investigation concerning the trafficking of fake documents that have originated in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Austria, and Greece. Their goal was to find out how fake identification papers such as these are able to make it across the border.
In particular, officials have become increasingly concerned as to how people from Syria and Iraq have been managing to avoid Greece’s government controls. They appear to be using fake passports from Syria in order to enter Austria and other parts of Europe. Two individuals who have been allegedly linked to the Paris attacks in November have re-entered Europe posing as refugees using these falsified documents.
Currently, Greece is housing over 57,000 refugees in makeshift and state run camps and most of these individuals are waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. Lately, there has been a surge of arrivals, most of whom have left Turkey following the coup attempt back in July of 2015. Recent figures that have been released by the Greek government show that there have been over 260 arrivals in a 24 hour time period from Thursday, August 18 to Friday, August 19. This is a considerable jump from activity prior to that where anywhere from a few dozen to 150 per day was reported.
Europol has a history of involvement when it comes to helping to manage the refugee crisis. Back in July of 2016, the European Migrant Smuggle Center that is part of Europol assisted the Austrian and Hungarian authorities in putting a stop to a crime group that has been linked to people smuggling, which is illegal. Six arrests were made because of these activities.