Nov 08 2018

Three Iranians with fake Israeli passports caught on Turkish-Bulgarian border

Three Iranians travelling with fake Israeli passports were detained after crossing into Bulgaria from Turkey, the Jerusalem Post reported

It is unclear though how the three managed to travel through Turkey without being detected, the Jerusalem Post said. 

The three men arrived in Bulgaria on Oct. 31, carrying falsified Israeli passports, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry said. They were detained by the border police and taken to a detention centre in Bulgaria for rapid deportation. 

This is not the first time Iranian citizens have been caught using fake Israeli passports, the Jerusalem Post said, adding that in July an Iranian national, Esmaeil Kazem Hosseinitaghi, was arrested in Delhi airport in India while travelling with a fake Israeli passport.

Hosseinitaghi was said to have obtained the fake passport in Turkey and was planning to travel to Europe according to local media reports, the Jerusalem Post said. 

In early 2016, an Iranian couple was also caught in an airport in India travelling with both Iranian and fake Israeli passports.

The Jerusalem Post said that other Iranian nationals have also been caught while travelling with fake passports of different countries, while Reuters reported in June that numerous Iranians had bought passports from the Comoros Islands, a small nation between Mozambique and Madagascar.

According to diplomats and security sources in the Comoros and the West, some Iranians have been acquiring those passports in order to protect their interests due to U.S. sanctions on Iran, the Jerusalem Post said.