German police are furious after being ‘overwhelmed’ by thousands upon thousands of fake Syrian passports
- Germany has been inundated with 500,000 refugees already this year
- But authorities say they are ‘powerless’ to stop tens of thousands of migrants using fake Syrian documents to claim asylum
- A huge number of applications supported by passports appear to be false, a police forensic expert revealed
- Economic migrants from north Africa claim to be from war-torn Syrians
- Expert told MailOnline ‘I know their documents are false but I can’t prove it’
Officials registering applications have been overwhelmed by the 500,000-plus refugees who have streamed into the country since the beginning of the year.
A huge number of claims for asylum that are supported by passports and identity cards that appear to be false, a police forensic expert has revealed.
MailOnline highlighted the roaring trade in false Syrian documents in September.
The exclusive story revealed how a reporter bought a Syrian passport, identity card and driving licence for $2000 under the name of a real man who was killed in Aleppo.
Police forgery expert Joerg Aehnlich told MailOnline: ‘I know their documents are false but I cannot give evidence in court that they [the asylum seekers] are not Syrian because I cannot prove it.’
‘Overwhelmed’: German police are struggling to process vast number of suspected forged passports
Migrants are using documents stolen from Syrian refugees, identity cards manufactured to order or simply papers borrowed from friends and relatives to support their asylum application, Mr Aehnlich, of the Lower Saxony Criminal Forensic Institute has revealed.
This means applications for refugee status have been allowed to proceed because the authorities cannot prove they are fake.
He told MailOnline: ‘Some of the passports contain the false personal information in fake documents, some passports contain genuine personal information in fake documents and some passports contain genuine personal information in genuine documents. But we cannot prove which ones are genuine and which are false.’
Mr Aehnlich is one of just a handful of forgery experts in Germany that are called upon to provide expert opinions on documents in contested asylum application cases.
But he, and others like him, have been inundated with work since the migration crisis exploded in Europe this year.
Germany expects at least 800,000 asylum seekers this year, with some estimates as high as 1.5 million. Some 15,000 migrants crossed into the country from Austria in a single weekend.
The largest number of migrants are refugees escaping the war in Syria, some 38 per cent, followed by Eritrean fleeing the brutal dictatorship in the tiny Horn of African state.
But there are also people from Balkan countries such as Kosovo and Albania – as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and North Africa, who are exploiting the situation to seek a new life in Europe.
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