Terrorism: trafficking of false documents, seven arrests in Lombardy

They are accused of producing thousands of false identity documents, including for the Vienna bomber who killed 4 people on 2 November and was himself killed in a clash with the police.

7 people were arrested this morning in Milan and in other cities of Lombardy, at the end of an investigation by the Digos of Milan. They are a Russian citizen of Chechen ethnicity and six Ukrainian citizens, belonging to a transnational organization specialized in the trafficking of false and forged documents in the Schengen area and in the Balkan area.

The operation, called “The Caucasian Job”, was born in 2019, from the investigations launched following an anti-terrorism operation conducted by the Austrian authorities on a possible planning of attacks in Europe. In fact, among the users extrapolated from the phone of a citizen arrested in Austria, an Italian number was found in use by the 35-year-old Chechen, asylum seeker in Italy and domiciled in the province of Varese, connected to a website and to an Instagram account where it was advertised. the production and sale of counterfeit documents.

The investigation made it possible to reconstruct the entire organization, based in Ukraine, ascertaining the responsibilities of the 7 arrested who, in various capacities, contributed to the success of the illicit trade developed through a simple but proven mechanism: the interested party contacted, by telephone or via the web, the organisation’s brokers, indicating the type of document and once the payment was confirmed through money transfer agencies, the documents produced by Ukraine were transported to Italy and delivered to intermediaries who sent them through ordinary carriers to the final recipient.

The investigations were coordinated by the Central Prevention Police Directorate with the support of Europol’s ECTC (European counter terrorism center) and the collaboration of the Financial Police.