By Stefanos Messios
A 15-year-old boy of African origin has been taken into custody after allegedly presenting a fake Portuguese ID card at Paphos airport.
He is facing charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, forgery, circulation of a forged document, impersonation, and illegal stay and entry into the Republic of Cyprus.
According to police, the boy arrived at the airport on Thursday to board a flight to Bergamo, Italy, where he presented the Portuguese ID card.
Passport control established that the photo on the ID matched that of the teen but were suspicious about the card as there has been a spate of African migrants trying to leave the island with fake IDs in recent weeks. On questioning, it was established that his personal details did not match the information on the card.
He told the police that he was 15 and a half. The teen was then driven to the Paphos CID offices where, in the presence of a social worker and a lawyer, he gave a statement and allegedly confessed.
His file was completed and handed over to the attorney-general’s office for instructions on how to proceed due to his age. As far as the ID card is concerned, the teen claimed that an unknown person from Nicosia gave it to him.
Paphos CID is investigating.
There has been a surge of African nationals, around 20 in recent weeks, found to be carrying falsified travel documents while attempting to get on direct flights to Italy and France at Paphos airport.