Updated 07:46 AM EDT, Thu, Oct 22, 2020

Honduras Captures Syrians Headed to U.S. With Stolen Greek Passports

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Six Syrian nationals were intercepted in Honduras this Wednesday when authorities discovered five of them traveling on doctored Greek passports - five of them bound for the United States. However, it seems that none of them had any links to last week's attacks, which killed at least 129 people in Paris.

In a report by Reuters, five of the men were detained in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, upon arrival from Costa Rica. According to the report, they were planning on heading to the Guatemalan border. Police said that the passports they used had been doctored to replace photographs of the Greek nationals with their own.

Anibal Baca, a spokesman for the Honduran police said that all five were trying to reach the U.S.. The sixth man, on the other hand, was turned away upon his plane's arrival from El Salvador. Baca said, "These citizens will be taken away and will be investigated. We already have confirmation that they had passports that were stolen in Greece."

The names appearing on the passport, BBC reported, are as follows: Charalampos Kyrimopoulos, Alexandros Tzempelikos, Vasileios Bouzas, Konstantinos Marinakis, and Anastasios Bellios. Yet, according to Greek Diplomats in Honduras, none of them speak Greek.

However, these incidents of Syrian nationals using Greek passports seem to be part of a bigger picture, as several similar instances have happened over the past few days.  For example, three men were arrested in the Dutch Caribbean colony, St. Maarten, on Saturday. The men all arrived on a flight from Haiti. Meanwhile, on Sunday, a man was detained in Paraguay.

The men arrested in St. Maarten and the man detained in Paraguay, all had false or stolen Greek passports. CNN also noted that before they arrived, these men already traveled to Lebanon, Turkey, Brazil, and Argentina before they boarded their flight from Costa Rica.

Reuters added that there have been other reports suggesting that at least one of the attackers from Friday's attacks in Paris may have slipped into Europe with migrants registered in Greece. This led to several Western countries and over half the US states questioning their willingness to take in refugees from the war-ravaged country.

Furthermore, The New York Times reported that a French official announced a passport was found near one of the bodies of dead terrorists in Paris. This showed that he may have passed through Greece's border controls with the use of a similarly stolen passport.

In France, President Francois Hollande is not turning away migrants from Syria. In fact, he repeated his commitment to take in 30,000 more migrants. However, he did state that asylum seekers will still be checked to ensure that they do not pose a threat. Other than a more cautious take on the matter, there does not seem to be major changes in border procedures in the European nation.

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