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ID Crisis: Shipment of Smuggled Blank Passports Seized in Turkey

© Sputnik / Sergey Stroitelev / Go to the photo bankMiddle East migrants in Bodrum
Middle East migrants in Bodrum - Sputnik International
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Two suspects were arrested in Istanbul allegedly trying to smuggle a shipment of blank European passports.

German special police forces SEK stand guard outside the building of the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) in Karlsruhe, Germany December 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Two suspects were apprehended by Turkish authorities in Istanbul airport while allegedly trying to smuggle 148 blank European passports hidden in pizza-making equipment, AP reports citing a local government source.

According to the source, one of the suspects is a Belgian citizen of Turkish descent while the other is a native of Syria.

There were British, Irish, French and German passports among the confiscated papers, and all of the documents were authentic, the source added.

The investigators intend to determine how the suspects came into possession of these documents and how they were planning to use them, according to the authorities.

Earlier, US media reported citing a report by Homeland Security Investigations that Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) militants may actually possess equipment needed to print forged passports, and that some individuals using such documents may have travelled to the United States.

Other media reports also suggest that Daesh has at least 3,000 authentic Syrian and Iraqi passports stolen from the national authorities.

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