france illegal immigration ring with real passports
According to a source within the French police force, this past week the border police of France busted an illegal immigration ring that was leasing out real French passports to migrants from sub-Saharan Africa so that they could enter the country.
According to the source who spoke to the media on Thursday, the scam was brought to light for the first time in November, when border agents at the main airport in Paris stopped a man who had traveled from Mali on a passport that did not belong to him.
“He told us he had paid 7,000 euros ($7,600) to fly from Bamako to Paris with an authentic French ID document,” the source said. “He told us he could do so with an authentic French ID document.”
The existence of a network in the Paris region that recruited French nationals with a history of immigration to “lend” out their identity papers in exchange for several hundred euros was uncovered by the police.
They then either mailed their passports to an unknown location in Africa or presented the authorities in France with a request for a replacement passport bearing the photograph of a different individual.
According to the investigators, at least 250 people are believed to have signed up for travel documents from the con artists. The con artists offered their services to customers in Mali, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon, often via social media.
According to the source, on Tuesday, border police arrested three men and four women, ranging in age from 24 to 55, all of whom were of Malian origin and suspected of running the operation. The arrests took place in and around Paris.
They are making new efforts in the hopes of locating the individuals with whom they shared their passports.