Passport fraud increases at airports

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Cases of identity fraud and presentation of fake documents at Cyprus airports passport control have increased since last year, police said.

This issue was discussed at police headquarters under the Deputy Chief of Police, Demetris Demetriou, as since the beginning of the year, over 230 such incidents have been detected.

According to police, almost every day, during the passport checks carried out at the airports, people are detected who attempt to travel, mainly to Central European countries, either with forged travel papers or genuine documents that do not belong to them.

“From the beginning of this year, more than 230 such incidents have been detected.

“The specially trained members of the Aliens and Immigration Service, who staff the points of passport control, with special equipment, carry out the necessary checks for the authenticity of travel documents, and any offences related to impersonation”, a police statement said.

More than 90 cases concerned foreign nationals who attempted to travel with forged travel documents, and more than 140 concerned identity fraud cases, as they attempted to travel with stolen travel documents.

In 2021 police handled more than 110 cases involving the presentation of fake travel documents and more than 150 cases of false impersonation.

This year authorities have investigated more than 50 cases involving smugglers of migrants and arrested more than 80 people.

In 2021, approximately 30 cases were investigated, resulting in 50 arrests.

Additionally, in the first nine months of 2022, more than 5,260 people were deported from Cyprus or voluntarily returned to their countries, of which 650 were in police custody.