WASHINGTON — Two more Iraqis with false Bulgarian passports were detained by Mexican officials in Monterrey — bringing the total to four this month.
Wisam Gorgies, a 34-year-old man, and Rana Nazar Peyoz, a 26-year-old woman, reportedly flew from Madrid and landed in Monterrey, according to reports in two Mexican newspapers today.
Following questioning, the pair admitted they intended to reach the United States. They were taken to Saltillo in the state of Coahuila, for final determination of their status.
Mexican officials said the are investigating “a network that could be made up of Mexicans operating in Greece who are selling false Bulgarian passports for $10,000 to European and Middle Eastern citizens.”
Earlier this month, El Universal, a daily in Mexico City, reported two other Iraqis, Markos Ramy, a 25-year-old man, and Sollem Pate, a 20-year-old woman, presented Bulgarian passports upon arrival at the Monterrey airport after a flight from Spain.
They told customs officials they came as tourists for a couple days. But because they spoke no Bulgarian, their passports were determined to be fraudulent. The Bulgarian consulate did not acknowledge them as citizens and their hotel reservations proved to be phony.
Only after their cover story was blown did the couple admit to being Iraqis. They claimed to be fleeing the war.
Last year, dozens of Iraqis were discovered attempting to enter Monterrey with phony ID — 17 of them in a single event.