German newspaper “Bild” published a report, according to which one of its reporters purchased a fake Bulgarian passport in Greece with 2,000 Euros. The newspaper, which characterises Greece as “the paradise of passport forgers”, sent a journalist to Greece who reported on the ease with which someone could get a hold of a forged passport. In its extensive investigative piece, Bild says that the Greek authorities busted 5 major forgery rings only in 2017.
“Only in the last three months of 2017, 729 refugees holding fake travel documents were found in Greek airports. However, many still managed to travel to Germany to apply for asylum. A Greek police ID along with the airline ticket to Germany costs between 4,000 and 5,000 euros”, the piece says. The report goes on to claim that the forgers offer a “guarantee” to their “clients”. They escort them to the airport terminals and if they are blocked at the exit the “clients” are refunded! If they are cleared at the exit the outstanding amount is paid to a “representative” at the destination country. German authorities have placed travellers entering Germany from Greece under a special quarantine, despite the fact that both nations are part of the Schengen free zone.
According to the report, the journalist met with a middle-man shortly before the Christmas celebrations at a coffee shop in Athens. The reporter told him that he was a German journalist and that he wanted to travel to Syria via Turkey. The reporter was advised to buy a Bulgarian passport. The reporter was told he could be supplied with a passport of any nationality, including a Canadian one. “It is all a matter of cost”, as he informed the journalist “Passports that have to pass airport control are of course more expensive”. According to the middle-man, the Italian and Greek passports were more appropriate for refugees. The fake Bulgarian passport with the name “Petar Ivanov Todorov” was obtained by the Bild reporter obtained a few days after the initial meetings and cost only 2,000 euros.