Six Iranians were arrested at the weekend for entering Macau with fake passports with the intention of flying onward to Europe to find jobs and a better life there, Public Security Police (PSP) spokesman Choi Iok Kin said at a regular press conference on Monday.
According to Choi, the Iranians comprise four males and two females, including two couples, aged between 24 and 34. No further information about them was released by the spokesman, who did not say whether all the six were members of a group.
According to Choi, a male and a couple arrived on the same flight from Kuala Lumpur while another male and a couple arrived on two different flights from Beijing, Choi said.
At about 8 p.m. on Saturday, an immigration officer at the local airport first checked one the passports of the three Iranians who had arrived on the flight from Kuala Lumpur. The bar code reader could not read the Swedish passport held by one of the male passengers and the hologram in his passport aroused suspicion so the officer suspected that the passenger was travelling on a counterfeit passport, Choi said.
The two Iranians arriving on the same flight were then found to be travelling on counterfeit Israeli passports, Choi said.
Later at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and about 2 a.m. on Sunday respectively, two flights arrived from Beijing. An immigration officer checked and discovered that the passports of a male passenger and a couple were counterfeit, Choi said. They used bogus Italian and Spanish passports, Choi said.
The six suspects were taken to a police station for questioning, Choi said.
After further investigation the police discovered that the Israeli, Italian, Spanish and Swedish passports were all counterfeits, Choi said.
The suspects told the police that they had paid between 8,000 and 9,000 euros (71,352 and 80,271 patacas) each for the fake passports from several Iranians. They also told the police that they had been hoping to enter Macau with the counterfeit passports and then fly on to Europe for jobs and a better life there, Choi said.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the six suspects have been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further investigation.
According to Choi, the suspects face possible arraignments on using forged documents.