Six Syrians Bearing False Greek Passports Arrested in Argentina

argentini_greek_passArgentinian authorities arrested six Syrians who flew into the South American country on fake Greek passports, a spokesman for the federal police told Reuters on Saturday.

The six suspects, with one minor among them, were taken into custody at a Buenos Aires hotel on Friday after landing at the city’s Ezeiza International Airport on Thursday, the spokesman said.

According to the Reuters report, authorities in Argentina believe that the bogus travel documents were probably obtained in Turkey.

The case is similar to that of six Syrians who were arrested in Honduras on November 17 bearing false Greek passports. The suspects had entered South America through Costa Rica, then tried to cross to neighboring Guatemala with the United States being their ultimate destination.

In October Brazil detained eight Iraqi nationals who police said were travelling on false Greek passports they had obtained in Turkey.

A series of similar arrests in Brazil and Costa Rica over recent weeks indicates that South and Central America have become a route for Syrians fleeing war in their country. However, in light of the bloody terrorist attacks by jihadists in Paris on November 11, international authorities suspect that terrorists might use the same route to enter the U.S.

The Syrians arrested on Friday were unarmed and charged only with using false travel documents, the spokesman told Reuters. A court hearing has been set for Wednesday. The detainee under the age of 18 was undergoing psychological counselling.

“No more information will be released until they make statements before a judge,” said the spokesman, who said the detainees were cooperative. The spokesman did not disclose the origin of the flight the Syrians took to Ezeiza.