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France: an illegal African immigration network dismantled

France: an illegal African immigration network dismantled
"Border Police (PAF) officers in south-west France on 13 November 2020   -  
Copyright © africanews
RAYMOND ROIG/AFP or licensors


They brought illegal immigrants into the territory with real French passports: the border police (PAF) at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport this week dismantled an illegal immigration network from sub-Saharan Africa, AFP learned Thursday from a police source.

The case begins in November 2022 when border guards intercept a passenger from Mali with a real passport, but which turns out not to be his. "He tells us that he paid 7,000 euros to do a Bamako-Paris with an authentic French document," said the police source.

The police officers of the PAF then discovered the existence of a network that provided foreign nationals with French identity documents allowing them to enter the national territory through the front door, with control reduced to the strict minimum when passing through the border.

To do this, the sector based in the Paris region recruits French people with an immigrant background so that they "lend", against a few hundred euros, their identity document.

They send their passport to Africa by post or have a new one redone at the town hall by providing a photo of a different person.

The organization provided its services to clients residing in Mali, Ivory Coast, or Cameroon, often found through social networks. Investigators estimate that "at least" 250 people may have used this system.

"We are well beyond the small sector that passes 20 people, there it was going well," commented the police source.

After several months of investigation, the border police arrested Tuesday morning across Ile-de-France seven people of Malian origin, three men and four women aged 24 to 55, identified as the operational network.

The defendants must be referred Thursday evening to the court of Bobigny. The investigation will now focus on identifying passport lenders in order to initiate proceedings against them.

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