A Ghanian man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after he admitted to conspiring to help people leave and enter Malta illegally.
Yunis Yusif, 27, will also face repatriation to Italy once his sentence is finished. He was also found in possession of false passports and using false names.
Figures of people attempting to enter and leave Malta with forged or improper documents in Malta have tripled in the last year. In fact, police charged 120 for the crime in August 2020 alone, nearly as many people as the entirety of 2019.
That’s around three people every day caught with fake IDs.
Most came from Sudan, while Macedonia, Serbia, Russia, Albania and Brazil were also common nationalities of the accused. Some were caught with expired visas, working illegally or at the airport.
Police also warned that some were caught attempting to leave and enter the country hiding in containers, known as “stowaways”.
A criminal ring in West Africa is one lead authorities believe to be behind the sudden spike of illicit passports, allegedly making profits by selling passports for hundreds of euro.
The phenomenon is common with asylum seekers, as the lengthy application process could incentive some to risk leaving illegally and using fraudulent documents.
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