The Finnish Border Guard has wrapped up a preliminary investigation into a human trafficking ring that allegedly tried to smuggle migrants from Greece into Finland and other EU countries.
The Border Guard said on Friday that there are 11 suspects in the case, four of whom have not yet been apprehended.
The suspects are mainly residents of Finland and Greece, including citizens of both countries.
The Gulf of Finland Coast Guard District first announced the investigation last November. The case was described as the first ever involving suspected sales of Finnish passports to a criminal group. The group is believed to have arranged transport for about 10 people in late 2019 and early 2020.
Its aims were both to bring individuals illegally into Finland and provide people whose asylum applications had been rejected to leave the country with counterfeit passports.
Passports peddled for €1,000-2,500
The Border Guard suspects six people of aggravated illegal entry and aggravated forgery within an organized criminal group.
Three people are suspected of having bought forged British and Finnish passports for approximately 1,000-2,500 euros each. One of these individuals is suspected of having travelled from Finland to Estonia with a forged passport and of attempting to travel onward to Ireland.
Three Finns are suspected of selling their passports to the crime ring for about 100 euros each.
The suspects may face charges of aggravated organisation of illegal entry, aggravated forgery, and border violations. The probe also turned up two drug offenses, according to the Border Guard.
The case will now be handed over prosecutors.