Forged Syrian passports are being trafficked, particularly in Turkey, to help migrants into the European Union, revealed Fabrice Leggeri, who heads Frontex, the European Agency for Border Control, on Tuesday. “There are people in Turkey today, who buy forged Syrian passports, as they obviously understand they will benefit from a windfall effect because Syrians are granted asylum in every EU member state,” he pointed out to French radio station Europe 1. “People using forged Syrian passports often speak Arabic. They may hail from North Africa or the Middle East but they tend to be economic migrants,” added Mr. Leggeri.
So far the traffic does not seem to be a threat to EU security. “We have as yet no objective proof that potential terrorists reached Europe this way,” he remarked, whilst calling for continued “vigilance at all European borders.” The head of Frontex repeated his request for extra EU border guards in Greece in order to register all new migrants to the Schengen zone in that country.
“The surge of migrants means registration systems are overwhelmed and not every migrant can be registered. We know where people come from (…) but have no details on who is coming in and who these migrants really are,” he said. Mr. Leggeri also strongly supported German Chancellor Angela Merkel who warned against calling the Schengen area into question if migrants flowing into Europe are not fairly spread out amongst EU member states, on Monday.
“This is now a daily threat. There are more and more border police patrols within the Schengen area,” highlighted Mr. Leggeri. “If external Schengen borders cannot be fairly monitored by member states, the risk is that each country will take control of their own national borders once again, which will not work any better,” he highlighted.