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#Migrants Turn to #Facebook for False Passports

Sputnik News
'Facebook Black Market' is fast becoming a justifiable term. Whilst most shady internet dealing takes place on the dark net, actually getting there is a complex task that is takes knowledge and resources far beyond most people, especially those with very limited internet access. As such, shady dealings are taking place on Facebook more and more often. Earlier in the year news broke that illegal organ trade was happening on there, and now people smugglers are using the platform to peddle fake Syrian passports to migrants and refugees.

This isn't any kind of amateur operation either, these fakes are being produced with actual stolen passport manufacture material and as such prices start at a rather alarming £1,300. Obviously, even with such a significant cost attached, there is no guarantee that the documentation will work, or even that it will appear as promised, but you can't put a price tag on escaping impending death, which many refugees are. Allegedly, some of the forgers often follow on from the passport to offer actual passage, between Turkey and Greece, for instance.

This, of course, accounts for more than just actual Syrians who lack the proper documentation to get through the borders, but also those who would seek to take advantage of the situation in Europe by posing as Syrian nationals. Such behaviour creates a risk of undermining the entire process of granting asylum to the real Syrians, as it means that passport and ID checking will only become more stringent, thereby slowing everything down. Equally, it lends weight to the numerous social and political movements across Europe who would rather than nobody was let in at all. That being said, it's probably fair to suggest that a lot of the people seeking to get into Europe under these false pretences are coming from situations similarly awful to the Syrians themselves.

This kind of Facebook activity is virtually impossible to effectively monitor and counteract, since so many different countries and languages are involved in the interactions. Many of the groups also contain actual, usable advice for Syrian refugees making the perilous trip and the dealing is mostly done in code, with the actual exchange of money and other important information ultimately being done over the phone. It's interesting, if a little depressing, to think that social media has become such a comprehensive microcosm of life that it even has its own underground criminal element. The law simply is not sophisticated enough yet to be able to effectively counteract this kind of thing, but even without it, opening up borders to the Syrian refugees was always going to carry a risk of others coming through using false pretences, Facebook or no Facebook.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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#Migrants Turn to #Facebook for False Passports Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, October 03, 2015 Rating: 5

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