Slovakia’s reputation in the UK comes into question after over 700 passports were sent by British police to the Slovak authorities in a massive scam involving child benefits for non-existing children, TV Joj’s website noviny.sk reports.
The passports belonged to people from a settlement in East Slovakia who had been involved in a widespread money-making scheme. The passports sent by the British police were accompanied by around 1,400 forged birth certificates, which had been used to swindle the benevolent UK system, which relies on people being honest at least about how many kids they have.
People from the settlement discovered that by getting a forged birth certificate, they could get their ‘non-existent’ kids included in their passport and then claim social benefits for them. The Slovak Embassy in London is well aware of these cases, and says this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The scam means Slovak passports can be a valuable commodity (worth around EUR 700) and Slovak consulate Zuzana Chuda told the news channel that they knew of cases where whole families lost their passports simultaneously or of individuals losing them several times in one year.
Other similar cases have already been reported in the past, and can probably be expected also in future.