NEWS

Greek authorities step up identity checks

TAGS: Migration

Greek authorities have started supplementary identity checks on immigrants reaching Athens by ferry from the country's eastern islands, after breaking up a ring that sold fake identity documents to migrants arriving on Lesvos.

About 1,500 refugees and other migrants who reached Athens' port of Piraeus early Friday were scrutinized as they disembarked from the Ariadni ferry. Dozens were taken aside and driven away in police buses for further checks.

The crackdown followed the arrests on Lesvos late Thursday of about 10 people, including Afghan, Pakistani and Iraqi nationals, who allegedly sold forged police identity documents to newly arrived migrants.

Police said the gang was charging 300-400 euros for each document, and is believed to have been selling up to 500 a day.

That would allow migrants to circumvent the official registration process, and buy ferry tickets for Piraeus without being screened by authorities on Lesvos - where most migrants crossing to Greece
from Turkey arrive.

[AP]

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