Asian Air Connections Push Up Illegal Immigration
Published 07.09.2007, 20.38
Direct flights between Finland and cities in Asia have increased organized illegal immigration and human smuggling.
A court in Vantaa, just outside Helsinki, is currently hearing a case of illegal immigration organized by providing forged documents supposedly provided by Finnish educational institutions.
In this case a young Ghanan man is charged with forging invitations to entrance exams and other documents as well as organizing illegal entry. Some 20 people used the forged papers to gain resident permits in Finland.
While the defendant in the case is African, the Frontier Guard says that using forged documents to acquire visas is more common among Asians. It is also become more common for Asian travellers to acquire valid visas for tourism or business travel and to stay in the country illegally after the visa expires.
The chief of the Helsinki border control unit, Janne Piironen says that it is not easy to uncover the criminals behind illegal immigration disguised as legal entry, but that it is clearly organized.