Sun, Nov 02, 2014 - Page 3 News List

NIA deports three Syrian nationals

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Three Syrian nationals have been intercepted at Taoyuan International Airport for carrying forged passports, the National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) Border Affairs Corps said yesterday.

The three passengers, two men and one woman arrived on Friday at Taoyuan International Airport on a Cebu Pacific Air flight from Manila.

They were detained after customs officials detected they were posing as Greek nationals, and were using forged Greek passports, the NIA Border Affairs Corps said.

Following questioning, the three passengers produced their original Syrian passports and told the investigators that they were Kurdish people from Syria, and that they had used fake Greek passports to escape warfare and terrorism by the Islamic State fighters in their home region, NIA officials said.

The passengers told investigators that they bought the forged Greek passports for US$15,000 each from a syndicate in a Middle Eastern nation.

Using air tickets to the Philippines, their plan was to transit through Taiwan on a 10-day stay, then to go on to a European nation as their final destination, the investigators said.

They allegedly told investigators that obtaining a Taiwanese customs stamp approving a short-term stay, would improve their odds of passing European customs officials by making their reason for entry appear more authentic.

NIA officials said that on instruction from the Taoyuan Prosecutors’ Office, the passengers were deported later yesterday on the Cebu Pacific Air return flight back to Manila, Philippines, in accordance with international aviation conventions.

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