Madrid bombers 'supplied with fake passports'

14th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2004, LISBON - Police in Portugal believe a major counterfeit ring had sold fake Portuguese passports to at least two suspects held in Spain after the 11 March train bombings.

14 December 2004

LISBON - Police in Portugal believe a major counterfeit ring had sold fake Portuguese passports to at least two suspects held in Spain after the 11 March train bombings.

Portuguese police reached the conclusion after comparing notes with Spanish police investigating the attacks on four commuter trains which left 191 people dead and more than 1,800 injured, the Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias reported.

After the bombings, blamed on Islamic radicals linked to Al-Qaeda, Spanish police detained dozens of suspects, mostly of north African origin.

Two of them were found with fake Portuguese passports.

Some 150 Portuguese police seized thousands of high quality forged documents - plus counterfeiting equipment - from 29 private homes in Lisbon last week and detained 14 people of various nationalities.

Passports, driving licences, cheques and credit cards were among the forged documents seized in the raids which followed an 11-month investigation.

Police said the suspects, aged 28 to 78, had "the ability to legalise anyone they wanted for whatever purpose they wanted".

Most of those detained had criminal records.

In recent months, Spanish and British police have also apprehended fake Portuguese passports.

Portugal is a member of the European Union and holders of a Portuguese passport enjoy freedom of movement across the 25-nation bloc.
  
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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