Tuesday April 13, 2021

11 suspected of human trafficking, forgery, illegal entry

Published : 06 Feb 2021, 00:20

Updated : 07 Feb 2021, 01:44

  DF Report

Press Release Photo: Finnish Coast Guard.

Eleven people are suspected of human trafficking, forging passports, and illegal entry into Finland and other European countries from Greece.

The Finnish Border Guard on Friday completed the investigation of the case against the gang that consists of members who resides in Finland and Greece and includes citizens of both the countries. The racket is also suspected of attempting illegal travelling of undocumented refugees to Finland and other European countries.

Four of the suspects, however, are yet to be arrested, said Border Guard in a press release on Friday.

The Coast Guard first announced the investigation on 19 November last year.

Tipped by the Estonian police, the Coast Guard initiated investigations into the cases in mid July.

The Estonian police held a person at Tallinn Airport, when he tried to travel to the United Kingdom from Estonia via Ireland with a forged British passport. He confessed to the Estonian police that a Finnish resident was involved in supplying him the forged passport. The Finnish resident also guided the detainee from Helsinki to Tallinn.

From the investigation the Coast Guard discovered that a criminal gang has been running operations in Finland and Greece since at least the autumn of 2019 and has been involved in illegal entry using forged Finnish and British passports.

At the end of October, a suspected member of the gang was arrested at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport along with a number of Finnish passports, residence permit cards, Finnish identity cards, and social and health insurance cards on his way to Greece.

The case was described as the first-ever involving suspected sales of Finnish passports to a criminal group.

The Border Guard suspected six people of aggravated illegal entry and aggravated forgery, three people of buying forged British and Finnish passports for about 1,000-2,500 euro each and one of them is suspected of travelling from Finland to Estonia with a forged passport.

Three Finnish citizens are suspected of selling their passports to the racket at a price of 100 euro each.

The suspects may face charges of aggravated organisation of illegal entry, aggravated forgery, and border violations. The investigation also found two drug offences.

The case will now be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.