Some 30 asylum seekers in Netherlands with suspicious passport

Asylum seekers
Asylum seekers

Around 30 asylum seekers came to the Netherlands with a stolen, blank passport in 2015 and 2016, NRC reports based on figures from the Ministry of Justice and Security.

According to the security services, terrorist organizations like ISIS often give such passports to their fighters to carry out attacks abroad. The police and security service AIVD investigated each of the 30 asylum seekers who arrived in the Netherlands with a blank passport, and none of them were identified as a threat to security, according to the newspaper.

The 30 asylum seekers that are in possession of one of these passports, gave varied explanations about how they received them. One said she got it from a family member, for example. While another claimed the Syrian authorities issued the passport to him. 

These passports were stolen during looting in conquered cities in Syria. They are empty passport booklets in which personal data can still be entered. The serial numbers of many stolen passports were shared with European security services, which is how the Dutch authorities identified the stolen passports that ended up in the Netherlands.

Asylum seekers can apply for asylum in the Netherlands even if they have a stolen of false passport, according to immigration and naturalization service IND. An average of 63 percent of all asylum seekers have no valid proof of identity.