Swedish passports available “for 1,000 dollars”

Swedish passports are widely available on the black market, it has been revealed. Trading has become so systematic that at least twice a week the Swedish police discover several passports linked to the same personal identity number.

Despite the fact that it is apparently simple to dupe the system, the Swedish authorities still have no idea how widescale the problem is, reported newspaper Dagens Nyheter, which has carried out its own investigation into the trade.

“If you don’t have any statistics, you don’t have a problem,” said Jerk Wiberg, group head of at the Swedish border police.

The price for a Swedish passport is around 1,000 dollars, or 7,000 kronor.

On October 1st 2005 the official Swedish passport issuing procedure was tightened up. A passport controller told DN that the impact was clear a few days ago when a man came in to apply for a new passport:

“I saw that he took out five passports in a fairly short space of time, so I looked at his previous passport documents on the computer, which has been possible since autumn 2005. I saw that he was not the same person as the one on all the documents,” said the official.

The man will now be questioned – and has not been issued with a new passport.

On June 28th 2009 the official passport procedure will become stricter, with fingerprints becoming standard.