POLICE arrested five Iranian men at Larnaca airport on Wednesday night as they all attempted to board a plane to Italy, using fake Italian passports.
At around 8pm a 38-year-old Iranian man, his 32-year-old wife and their two children, 13 and 15, attempted to board a plane to Italy.
Shortly afterwards, four men also tried to board the same flight. They were all prevented from boarding the plane after officers at passport control suspected their documents were forged.
Their luggage was checked by officers who found ten passports from different countries which all appeared to be counterfeit, police said.
A police spokesman added that the passports were all part of a number of blank documents which were recently reported as stolen from Italy.
The detainees told officers that they had each paid €2,000 for the fake passports.
The five men were all then arrested and held for questioning.
A total of 16 people have been arrested recently at both Larnaca and Paphos airports after they attempted to leave the country using fake identification.
On Wednesday police arrested a 16-year-old Somalian at around 10pm at PaphosInternationalAirport, as he was trying to leave the country using counterfeit identification.
The 16-year-old showed a British passport to authorities while trying to board a plane to the UK, police said. The passport displayed a photo of a 35-year-old man.
When questioned, the 16-year-old told officers he is from Somalia and that he had bought the passport from the north for around €2,200.
Paphos and Larnaca CID are investigating the case.