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Many crossing into Europe pretending to be Syrian, officials claim

Many of the migrants flooding into Europe are hiding their true place of origin and claiming to be Syrian.

Documents scattered only meters from Serbia’s border with Hungary provide evidence that many of the migrants flooding Europe to escape war or poverty are scrapping their true nationalities and likely assuming new ones, just as they enter the European Union.

A Pakistani identity card is seen in the bushes, a Bangladeshi one in a cornfield. A torn Iraqi driver’s license bearing the photo of a man with a Saddam-style mustache, another one with a scarfed woman displaying a shy smile.

Many of those travelers believe that using a fake document — or having none at all — gives them a better chance of receiving asylum in Germany and other western European states.

That’s because the surest route to asylum is to be a refugee from war and not an economic migrant fleeing poverty. That fact has led to a huge influx of people claiming to be Syrian.

Serbian border police say that 90 percent of those arriving from Macedonia, some 3,000 a day, claim they are Syrian, although they have no documents to prove it. The so-called Balkan corridor for the migrant flight starts in Turkey, then goes through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the European Union in Hungary.

“You can see that something is fishy when most of those who cross into Serbia enter January 1 as the date of their birth,” says border police officer Miroslav Jovic. “Guess that’s the first date that comes to their mind.”

— AP

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