Two men recently attempted to claim asylum stating that they were both minors until fingerprint tests revealed that they were not even close to being under 18.
The two men presented themselves to officers at a police station in the commune of Angoulême in south-west France earlier this week with both claiming that they were 16-years-old in order to take advantage of measures aimed at helping underage asylum seekers Charente Libre reports.
One of the men, who claimed to be from the African nation of Mali, was revealed to be 21 years old, while the other man, who presented police with a birth certificate from Guinea, was revealed to be 47 years old, after his fingerprints were connected to a passport he had used to enter Spain.
French Police Bust Network of Identity Fraud Fake Underage Migrants https://t.co/Ob6atpxNYS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 9, 2018
The department of Charente, where Angoulême is located, has seen a surge in asylum claims from alleged minor migrants and, as a result, has managed to develop relationships and sharing of information with several different countries to determine the veracity of the claims.
The problem of fake underage migrants in France was highlighted last year when police in Montpellier managed to bust a network from the Ivory Coast who were forging documents in order to help adult migrants claim asylum as minors.
Prosecutor of the Republic of Montpellier, Christophe Barret noted similar age exaggerations to the men in Angoulême saying, “Recently, an isolated minor supported by the county council of Hérault had said he was 17 years old. The department had doubts. Extensive verifications have formally confirmed that he was 32 years old, in fact.”
86 Per Cent of Recently Tested ‘Underage’ Migrants in Sweden Are Actually Adults https://t.co/DX9UW4Xu6Y
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 7, 2017
In total, the migrants who used the forged documents were able to defraud French taxpayers to the sum of nearly a million euros in benefits they were not qualified for.
In other countries, there have also been prevalent cases of adults pretending to be children, such as in Germany where almost half of the underage migrants, 49 percent, in the city of Hamburg were shown to be adults in 2017.
The German national average was 43 percent.