Greek police announced they have broken a large, locally based criminal network that sold fake identities allowing illegal migrants to travel and reside freely throughout Europe.
A police statement claims 20 people were arrested last week in the Athens area in connection with the gang, which received orders from several European countries.
It says a key part of the gang’s activity was to facilitate Albanians to travel from Greece to Britain on fake documents.
Four workshops were located in Athens, where gang members could allegedly forge high-quality documents and deliver them to clients within hours of receiving the order.
Reports claim the gang charged up to 500 euros for passports, and less for simpler forgeries. The crackdown followed cooperation with other European police forces.
The task force, Project Invigor, which assisted Greek police, recovered hundreds of fake passports, ID documents, including British driving licences, 55,000 euros in cash and a gun from their workshops.
Gang members offered them help if they were refused entry first time and are believed to have given right-to-work documents to Albanians already living in the UK illegally.
All 20 will face prosecution in the Greek courts for the smuggling services they offered to migrants from several European countries.
NCA deputy director Tom Dowdall, who headed the task force, said ‘This organised criminal network may have been based in Greece but it was directly targeting the UK. Our officers were able to work on that UK link and share crucial pieces of information with their Greek partners leading to these arrests.”
The investigation is set to continue.