Authorities in Buenos Aires have arrested two Iranians suspected of traveling on fake Israeli passports, according to local Argentinean media.
Police are treating the two, a man and woman, as possible terror suspects, and have raised the alertness level, daily Clarin reported.
The couple, named as Sajjad Naserani, 27, and Mahsoreh Sabzali, 30, were arrested last week after they entered Argentina on the apparently fake passports.
The passports listed their names as Netanel and Rivka Toledano. The passport ID numbers actually belonged to a French-Israeli couple named as David and Brigitte Assouline, according to Argentinean media.
Authorities initially suspected the passports had been stolen and doctored, but later concluded they were fake after finding several spelling mistakes in Hebrew. One picture of the passports carried in Argentinian media shows the word “Israel” misspelled, among many other flubs.
One of the fake Israeli passports used by an Iranian to get into Argentina. See if you can spot all the Hebrew spelling mistakes. pic.twitter.com/EQfjWOWoHm
— Joshua Davidovich (@Josh_Davidovich) March 17, 2019
The couple had flown from Spain to Buenos Aires last week and were allowed into the country before being arrested at a hotel days later. The investigation involved branches of Interpol in Argentina, Spain and Israel, according to Clarin.
Naserani, who claimed to be a photographer, was arrested with a camera. The two said that they had made their way to Spain via Turkey and Greece, La Nacion reported.
Officials said they had raised the alert level because of the proximity to the anniversary of the March 17, 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Clarin reported.
“This of course raises the level of alertness, and so I understand it is essential to maximize all security and prevention measures,” prosecuting judge Luis Rodriguez said, according to the news site.
Iran and its Hezbollah proxy have been widely blamed for both the embassy bombing, which killed 29 people, and an attack on the AMIA Jewish center two years later that left 85 dead.
There was no immediate comment from Iranian officials.