A 32-year-old Somalian man has been arrested for selling false passports to help traffic people in and out of Malta.
Police confirmed the suspect was arrested yesterday in his residence in Wied il-Għajn. There they found a number of forged identification documents as genuine ones that were discovered to be stolen.
He is expected to be charged in court on Thursday.
Figures of people attempting to enter and leave Malta with forged or improper documents have tripled in the last year, amid fresh concerns that a criminal ring could be responsible.
In fact, around 159 people were caught with fake passports and other identification documents in 2019, a significant jump from just 62 that were arraigned in court in 2018.
Police believe a ring of criminals forging immigration documents in Africa is behind the increasing amount of arrests, with the illicit trade of identification documents surging once Malta reopened its borders after COVID-19 lockdown.