ROME — Europe’s trade in forged and stolen passports is so out of control that the U.S. has given five EU countries until next week to act or risk losing visa-free travel rights.
The threat comes in response to growing alarm over the rising number of lost and stolen documents in the EU, which has doubled in five years. The number of forged passports in the Middle East is also a rising concern. Interpol has data on 250,000 stolen or lost Syrian and Iraqi passports, including blank documents.
The 5 countries are France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Greece who have been given a February 1 deadline to fix “crucial loopholes” or lose access to the U.S. visa waiver program.
Stolen Passports are a genuine security issue, US is probably right to demand action on this.