The Dutch border police intercepted 1,465 falsified documents in 2021, 10% more than in 2020, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee reported.
Most of the documents gathered were identity cards and passports. Many of the passports were authentic passports with falsified information. The majority of those passports were Greek, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, and Belgian.
Most of the documents were seized in airports, with 947 documents identified in Schipol, Amsterdam, and 99 at Eindhoven airport. The majority of the people caught using these documents were on route from Italy, Spain, or Greece to the Netherlands.
There were 287 documents intercepted at the shared borders with Germany and Belgium. Additionally, 20 documents were seized at maritime border locations.
Numbers have not changed much compared to pre-pandemic levels, despite the travel restrictions governments implemented due to COVID-19.
“We had expected the total would go down because of the impact of coronavirus on travel, but in fact, we saw a considerable increase,” spokesman Robert van Kapel told NOS radio, Dutch News reported. “That was partly because migration routes opened up again and human traffickers sent people off with forged papers,” he added.