Shady business with Estonian passports

  • 2000-05-11
TALLINN (ETA) - Fourteen illegal immigrants caught in EU countries in the last two months had forged or stolen Estonian passports,Eesti Paevaleht daily wrote.

The Estonian border guards suspect an extensive business with lost or stolen passports run from Tartu, since eight out of 14 caught immigrants had passports issued in South Estonia. None of the illegal immigrants had visited Estonia.

This is the first case of Estonian passports being used by illegal immigrants in Europe.

The illegal residents came from Armenia, Georgia and Afghanistan and claim to have purchased the forged passports in Russia, the Netherlands, Turkey and Latvia for $500.

Three of the Estonian passports were still valid. The remaining 11 had been reported as stolen or lost.

Estonia has no common information system with Western Europe, showing whether or not the Estonian issued passports are valid.