34 million travel documents from EU countries have disappeared since 2002

Passports, dual citizenshipPassports.Photo: Norway Today Media

In Norway, the police can deny new passports to those who have lost them several times, and the police believe their owners have been careless.


Danish and other EU passports largely disappear into a market where both criminals and terrorists act. Sweden has tightened the rules, but in Denmark there is no upper limit to how often passports can be renewed, wrote Berlingske Tidende newspaper. Every year thousands of Danish passports are either stolen or lost, and an unknown number of these end up on the black market. In the EU,34 million passports have disappeared in the past 16 years.

By 2015, 43, 818 Danish passports disappeared, according to figures from the Danish police (a slight increase over previous years ) and a total of 226, 311 Danish
passports have been lost since 2010. Despite the fact that 61, 399 passports were found again during the same period, the figures indicate that Danish passports are
a sought after item that are accessed by both criminal and terrorist networks, according to the Danish newspaper.

The total number of missing travel documents in Europe is also increasing. Over the past five years, the number of lost passports, IDs and documents in the EU has doubled. Thus,34 million travel documents from EU citizens have disappeared since 2002, informs ‘Interpol Berlingske’ police agency

“They’re alarmingly high numbers,” said terrorist researcher Magnus Ranstorp, who works at the Swedish Defence College. Interpol and Europol believe that the high number of lost passports and ID documents is a security risk.

“Recently, we have seen an increasing tendency toward document forgery and identity theft in terms of irregular immigration to Europe. Document fraud is an important catalyst for organised crime and terrorism,” said Alexandru Niculae, spokesman for Europol for Berlingske to Tidende newspaper. False passports are an effective means of circumventing police surveillance.

‘Berlingske’ has previously documented via Syrian smugglers in Istanbul that immigrants and refugees purchase false passports before traveling to the EU. A Danish passport costs 22,000 kr.

In Sweden in 2015, the authorities discovered an increase in the number of lost passports. This led to a change in the law, so that in Sweden from the 1st of July 2016 it has only been possible to gain a new passport three times over a five year period. In Denmark, the law doesn’t limit the number of times a citizen may receive a new passport. In Norway, the police can deny you a new passport if you have lost it several times, and the police believe you have been careless.

Every year approximately 30,000 Norwegian passports are reported stolen or lost. That figure is far too high, the police directorate has concluded. Now you can be denied a passport for three years

if you do not take care of your passport, wrote Dagbladet in June last year.

The Danish police reported to Berlingske Tidende that last year, the Police Forensic Center (NKC) investigated “several documents” and found some false passports and identity papers mainly from Syria and Iraq than in 2014.

According to the former CEO of ‘PET’, Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, it is “quite a serious” situation that 43, 818 Danish passports disappeared last year. Bonnichsen indicated that a Danish passport is a very effective tool for criminals, and also poses a risk of identity theft from the passport’s rightful owner.

The increase in lost passports in Europe is also linked to terror, wrote the Danish newspaper. The Interpol database of lost travel documents includes 250,000 Syrian and Iraqi passports, and an unknown number of empty passports are believed to be in the hands of the Islamic state. At least two of the terrorists who killed 130 people in Paris on November 13, 2015, used stolen identities.

Anja Dalgaard Nielsen, head of the Danish Defense Academy’s Institute of Strategy, and also affiliated with Stanford University for terrorist research, according to Berlingske Tidende, sees document falsification as a “real problem”.

When a passport is reported stolen or lost, a warning is provided in a database at Interpol and in the Schengen Information System (SIS). This way, staff at airports worldwide receive a message if a traveler tries to use a stolen passport. But not all border crossings are equally well equipped to detect errors, wrote Berlingske Tidende.

Danish passports are some of the world’s most attractive. This is because with a Danish passport you have visa-free access to no less than 160 countries, wrote ‘Den Korte’ newspaper. Danish passport is in third place as the most attractive, behind Singapore and South Korea, which give visa-free access to 162 countries.


© resett.no/ #Norway Today