MORE than a dozen people in Alicante have been arrested for posing as Ukrainians using fraudulent documents in order to stay in Spain illegally.
The Policia Nacional said on Tuesday that 14 people between the ages of 18 and 34 from Morocco, Cuba and the Dominican Republic were caught fraudulently using Ukrainian documents in Alicante on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
Those arrested used the documents to apply for temporary protection in Spain as refugees at a documentation office set up in the city in response to the war in Ukraine.
EU rules state that third country nationals who can prove they resided in Ukraine before the Russian invasion on February 24, will be offered the same refugee status and help offered to Ukrainian nationals fleeing the country, and it is through this pathway that those arrested tried to take advantage.
Suspicions were raised when it became clear that although the documents appeared to show that the holders had been residing in Ukraine prior to the war, those who presented them couldn’t speak a word of Ukrainian.
An investigation coordinated with Kyiv concluded that the documents had not been issued to the individuals in question and the details did not match up.