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Scandinavia Today / Sweden



Swedish police proposes moves to curb the issuance of passports due its persistent vulnerability to smugglers.

Sunday, 29 September 2013
The Swedish police want to make it harder for people to get access to passport due to its increasing popularity with people smugglers.
The Swedish police believe that it is easy to obtain a Swedish passport these days and, thus, Swedish passports have been falling in the wrong hands. For this reason the head of the criminal police, Soren Clerton holds that the reissuing of passports should be constricted and a new law should come in effect such restrictions.

This comes after the recent news that many Swedish passport holders in the past years have been reporting misplacing their passports. The Police believe this happens when people send their passports to others to enable them to them to travel into the EU  and then later report them missing.
Swedish passports
The police thus proposes that the will follow up those who report lost passports and call them for questioning.
As troubles continues to rage in some parts of the world, especially the Middle East areas, more people are seeking to  flee the war tone zones and  with Europe that has closed its borders, people smugglers have won pole position for exploitation.

One of the few ways to get into Europe is to buy a passport from an EU country and it turns out that Swedish passports are easy to be re-issued when reported lost.

The Swedish police said that Frontex, the EU agency that work for border cooperation, said recently that of the approximately 1,300 who were trying to enter the EU with someone else's passport in the past 18 months, one in four were a Swedish passport.
"We get signals from various border controls outside the Schengen about Swedish passports being disproportionately overrepresented in this abuse," says Soren Clerton.
"Why Swedish passport sells so well is because it is so easy to get a new passport," he thinks.

"We can confirm that there are people who lose or register their passport as robbed several times and sometimes for quite a short time. And then one may well be suspicions that it is not the average citizen who constantly misplace their passports," says Soren Clerton.

So before the end of the year, the police is suggesting that some kind of limitation for the renewal of passports. For example, those who take out passports about three times in the space of a year are called in for questioning.

That is however not an uncontroversial idea. A few years ago, the parliament voted down a similar proposal because the problem is too small in relation to the right of citizens to travel freely.

Soren Clerton sees the danger that if the abuse of Swedish passports continue, it can give Swedish travellers problems in the future, as controls in  foreign airports may take longer.
By Team

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