Erbil International Airport as the temporary flight ban came into effect in 2017. File photo: A.C. Robinson | Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — At least 15 people have been arrested at Erbil International Airport for fake visas. Nine Kurds tried to board a plane bound for Dusseldorf before being stopped for falsified German visas, while six people with Kenyan passports have been detained for trying to enter the Kurdistan Region with falsified entry visas.
Authorities arrested nine people, all Kurds, at the airport wanting to travel to Germany with fake visas affixed in their passports, said Rizgar Farzanda Afandi, the head of passport control at the airport, on Thursday.
He revealed one of the nine arrested is believed to be a human trafficker and holds a Swedish residence permit and an Iraqi passport. Two others are believed by authorities to hold fake Greek residence permits.
The German consulate in Erbil was informed of the incident by the authorities, a spokesperson from the consulate confirmed to Rudaw.
"People who wish to travel to Germany should follow the legal application process of the German Consulate in Erbil," the spokesperson advised, referring applicants to their website.
Six people, who had Kenyan passports, were detained trying to enter the Kurdistan Region with falsified visas.
"All those who were arrested were referred to court for relevant measures against them," explained Afandi.
According to the Kurdistan Regional Government people from some 40 countries can enter the Iraqi Kurdistan Region after being granted a visa upon arrival. Kenya is not one of the countries.
International points of entry are jointly administered by the KRG and Iraq’s interior ministries.
Updated at 7:31 pm