Forged certificates trigger deportation of 139 Uzbeks
12 Jul 2019, 00:08 ( 9 days ago)
Forged education certificates have resulted in a wave of work permit cancellations and deportations of Uzbek nationals from Finland, local media reported on Thursday.
The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) told the national broadcaster Yle that in the last half a year 139 Uzbek nationals have been ordered to leave or have already been deported from Finland due to forged certificates.
Two hundred and forty new applications have been rejected on those grounds. Migri told Yle that investigations into the authenticity of the certificates had been launched by the Border Guards in late 2018 following a complaint by an employer.
Yle reported that the new figures in 2019 are likely to be large, as in 2018 only ten Uzbeks were deported and in 2017 none. According to Statistics Finland, the number of Uzbek nationals in Finland last year was 800. Current figures are not available.
Uzbek nationals are mainly employed in the construction industry in Finland. Companies in the sector have expressed concern about their staff resources if large numbers of Uzbeks are ordered to leave.
The forged certificates all claim education at a vocational school named TMGS. A Soviet-era hydro and canal organization used this name and may have also operated a school. The Uzbek Embassy in Riga told Finnish authorities that said school was closed down in 1993 or even earlier.
Olli Sorainen, a senior official at the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, told Yle that the ministry is concerned about the fact that the forged documents have passed the initial control at Finnish consulates.
He said it was a serious problem that people could enter Finland with fake documents. The ministry noted that the number of applications from Uzbekistan has increased significantly since last autumn.
This year, 300 new applications have been submitted. Uzbek citizens usually submit their documents to the Finnish consulates in Moscow, St Petersburg in Russia and Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan.