A 50-year old individual has been arrested in Greece for large-scale forgery of documents and facilitating illegal immigration.
Greek law enforcement authorities raided a printshop in Ilioupoli and seized over 3,200 pages of altered or falsified passports, 198 passports, 172 ID cards, 90 driving licenses and a number of residence permits, alongside all the equipment necessary for the document forgery (paper laminating and cutting devices, ink, etc.)
The forger was active in the city center of Athens and selling and buying several documents originating not only from Greece but also from other countries. The illicit documents were then provided to irregular migrants to enable their onward travels and further residence in the European Union.
Europol assisted the operation by deploying experts from its European Migrant Smuggling Centre and European Cybercrime Centre to provide on-the-spot intelligence analysis and forensic support.
This operation was led by the Department of Combating Organized Crime and Trafficking in Human Beings of the Hellenic Police in Greece and supported by experts from the Greek Forensic Science Division/False Document and Counterfeit Currency Laboratory. The evidence is now being analyzed to identify possible links with investigations in other EU countries.