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Russian man stopped at border after illicit decade in Schengen area

Two Russians were questioned in Lappeenranta after arousing suspicions while crossing the border by train.

Allegro Vainikkalan asemalla
An Allegro train at the Vainikkala border post (file photo). Image: Yle

A Russian man was detained at the Vainikkala border crossing point in Lappeenranta last week after he was found to have been illegally in the Schengen zone for a decade.

The man was taken into custody on a train heading from Finland to Russia. Border Guards noticed that his travel documents contradicted his statements about his travel.

Finnish authorities have determined that he had been living in Sweden. Besides a Russian passport, he had a Lithuanian passport with a different name. He had used the latter while in Sweden.

“It is a good question as to how he obtained this passport,” said Captain Ossi Fonselius of the Southeast Finland Border Guard.

Persona non grata for 5 years

At the time of his attempted border crossing, his Lithuanian passport was being carried by another Russian man travelling with him, but there was no attempt to use it to deceive Finnish officials.

Both men were fined for possessing forged documents. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) imposed a five-year ban on the man’s re-entry into the Schengen area. He was then allowed to return to Russia.

The Schengen zone includes 26 countries, including nearly all EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. There are no routine checks when crossing borders within the area, but travellers must produce a passport or other valid identification on request.

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