With the support of Europol, a 50-year old individual was arrested in Greece for large-scale forgery of documents and facilitating illegal immigration.
During the action day on 11 July, the Greek law enforcement authorities raided the printshop in Ilioupoli and seized over 3 200 pages of altered or falsified passports, 198 passports, 172 ID cards, 90 driving licences and a number of residence permits, alongside all the equipment necessary for the document forgery (paper laminating and cutting devices, ink, etc.)
The forger was active in the city centre of Athens and selling and buying several documents originated not only from Greece but also from other countries. The illicit documents were then provided to irregular migrants to enable their onward travels and further residence in the EU.
On the action day, Europol deployed to Greece experts from its European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) and European Cybercrime Centre (EC3 – Document Forensic Laboratory) to provide on-the-spot intelligence analysis and forensic support. Throughout the investigation, Europol facilitated the exchange of intelligence and provided tailored analytical and forensic support to the investigators.
This operation was led by the Department of Combating Organized Crime and Anti- Trafficking Subdivision of Athens and supported also by experts from the Greek Forensic Science Division/False Document and Counterfeit Currency Laboratory. The evidence which was already known and gathered during the action day is now being analysed to identify possible links with investigations in other EU Member States.