A new report suggests that the German agency in control of migration, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), knew that passports used by migrants who flooded into the country last year were fake – but let the migrants attempt to claim asylum anyway.
Die Welt reports that BAMF had processed some 217,465 passports, birth certificates, and driver’s licenses of asylum seekers and that 2,273 of these documents had been forged.
According to German law, the penalty for forging documentation – especially passports and travel visas – is five years in prison. So far, no migrants have been arrested.
Law enforcement in Germany are extremely concerned by the numbers of migrants who have entered the country on false documentation. The Federation of German Detectives (BDK) has called on BAMF to inform them when forged documents are found, with vice chairman of the BDK Michael Bohl saying that it wasn’t up to the discretion of BAMF to decide if the law had been broken or not.
Mr. Bohl went on to stress that Islamic State, who have already smuggled in fighters during the migrant crisis, could use fake passports to create bank accounts and set up a finance network in Germany. He warned that migrants could wire their government refugee benefits to the terrorist organisation.
The evidence of admitted migrants with fake passports also flies in the face of the German rules on granting asylum. According to the asylum regulations if an asylum seeker who is undergoing the asylum process has either withheld information about their nationality or has tried to deceive authorities then their asylum claim must be immediately rejected.
Islamic State has already been accused of using fake passports in order to sneak its fighters into other countries. In the U.S. the group is said to have forged Syrian passports back in December of last year in an attempt to infiltrate the country.
Earlier this year French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that Islamic State had created an entire industry revolving around the creation of fake passports and other documents. According to the minister, the terror group had created forgeries of passports from Syria, Libya, and Iraq where they still hold territory.