FFE Magazine

Shocking discovery: Dead people’s passports reused by the Living

16may germany passports dead

It seems the passports of deceased loved ones still have value in the black market, so be careful who you’re giving them to or how you’re disposing them.


German police crackdown revealed that one funeral home in Neukölln, Berlin had been selling passports and other personal documents of the dead to a group of human traffickers. 50 passports and a number of documents from Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon were seized in a raid of the said funeral home. No arrests have yet been made.


Police believe that the 49-year-old funeral director and three others earned €2,000 to €5,000 for each document the funeral home sold to smugglers, which in turn sell the documents to refugees and immigrants.


The crackdown is part of a 120-officer raid of 19 properties in Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Schöneberg districts in Berlin. Nine cases as far back as 2010 are said to be connected to the operation.


Frank Worm from Berlin Police commented ‘It’s a brand new method which we haven’t seen in Germany before.’


In case a passport holder dies, relatives are advised to have the said passports cancelled by the issuing office so that they cannot be used illegally. Once cancelled, passport issuing offices can dispose of the said passport or return them to the family.



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