An asylum seeker from Guinea has been sentenced to four months in prison for identity fraud after he claimed that he was underage, then an adult and even switched his gender from female to male.
The migrant, who first claimed to be 17 and then 19, was handed the sentence by a court in Montpellier and also given a five-year ban on entering France once his sentence has been served, local newspaper Midi Libre reports.
Testimony in court showed that the arrest was not the first time the migrant had run into problems for lying about his identity as he had faced simialr accusations in Spain before he moved to France.
During the judgement, many of the court officials were also forced to wear medical masks due to fears that the migrant had been a carrier of tuberculosis. The disease has been especially prevalent in asylum homes and among asylum seekers across Europe as well as other infectious diseases like the scabies parasite which has been found among migrants sleeping on the streets of Paris.
While the court also subjected the migrant to bone tests in order to identify whether or not he was an adult, the results of the tests remained inclusive and due to the fact that so many of the documents listed different places of birth, authorities have not been able to confirm his age.
Identity fraud cases have been rife over the course of the migrant crisis as many countries like France and Germany guarantee asylum and better treatment for underage asylum seekers.
One of the most infamous cases of the practice was the case of Hussein Khavari who was recently given a life sentence for the rape and murder of German student Maria Ladenburger. Khavari claimed to be underage, although it later came to light that he was at least 30-years-old.
False identities have also been used by radical Islamic extremists like failed asylum seeker Anis Amri who used multiple identities to scam the German welfare system before killing a dozen people at a Berlin Christmas market in December of 2016.