Sweden and Norway: Yet more on ID scam

This might explain why so many Iraqis came to Sweden this past year. It looks like anybody who popped into the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm were able to get an Iraqi passport. The Swedish immigration service apparently knew about this, but did not think it had anything to do with them.

The Iraqi embassy in Stockholm is thought to have issued 26,000 false passports to asylum seekers in Sweden and Norway. Migration minister Tobias Billström is set to meet his Norwegian counterpart in Oslo on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

Details surrounding the fraudulent passports first emerged in Norwegian press after police cracked a forgery ring in Oslo. The Iraqi ambassador to Sweden informed Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten that the embassy had issued passports based on false documentation simply because it did not have the resources to check the authenticity of the paperwork.

"We have known for a long time that the Iraqi embassy has been issuing passports on false premises, but what can we do about it? This is a question for the foreign ministry. They know about this. We have presented the information in various reports," Bengt Hellström from the Swedish Migration Board told Metro. He added that the Migration Board has received numerous tip-offs over the last two years suggesting that people from Syria, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon have been able to get passports from the Iraqi embassy. Gustaf Lind, secretary of state at the justice department, says that his department has known about the problem for a month. "What we have done is to get civil servants at the justice department and the Migration Board to check out the information. We haven't really formed a judgment yet but the foreign ministry has called the Iraqi ambassador in to discuss the matter on Wednesday," said Lind.

Source: The Local (English)

See also: Norway: more on ID fraud, Sweden: Top address for Iraqi refugees, Sweden: Record for immigration, Sweden: Iraqi immigration main source of population growth

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