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Trio of Vietnamese Nationals Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail for Passport Fraud in Germany

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Three Vietnamese men have received six-month jail after they were caught trying to travel to Germany using someone else’s passports.

As reported by local media, one of these men was also imprisoned for providing a fake passport.

According to the police investigation, the 27-year-old, Nguyen Van Hung, was arrested while attempting to board a flight to Berlin on Sunday afternoon, August 6. He had presented a Vietnamese passport that did not belong to him.

At the same time, an 18-year-old named Tran Dinh Giap was also caught trying to travel under a false identity as he possessed a Dutch passport not issued to him.

As for the third Vietnamese citizen, 54-year-old Tran The Xuong, he allegedly bought the Dutch passport used by the 18-year-old and thus was jailed for a year.

In this regard, Inspector Frankie Sammut has laid charges against the three Vietnamese men, for possessing and attempting to use identity documents not issued to them to travel under false pretences.

He also revealed that a few months ago, a group of students from Vietnam had come to Malta to study English in different language schools, several of whom did not return their homeland after finishing their studies. Instead, they tried to travel to Germany to work there.

“The situation was causing embarrassment to the Maltese authorities and a loss of face with their German counterparts. Malta was also being billed for the costs of their repatriation from Germany,” the inspector Sammut pointed out, strongly defending the six-month prison sentence.

On the other hand, lawyer Martin Farrugia, who was representing Nguyen Van Hung and Tran Dinh Giap, expressed significant concerns regarding the legality of any racial profiling that might have played a role in the arrests.

The court ordered that his passport be immediately handed over to the Chief Immigration Officer to determine possible further action. In addition, the court recommended that Van Hung be detained in the Young Offenders Unit.

During the legal proceedings, Tran Dinh Giap, aged 18 and residing in Zejtun, said that his stated age of 18 in his documents was accurate despite the court’s observation that he appeared much younger. He pleaded guilty and was subsequently sentenced to six-month imprisonment.

Lastly, Tran The Xuong, aged 54 and a Vietnamese national residing in Slovakia, was the final individual to face charges. Before the trial commenced, his lawyer Martin Farrugia informed the judge of a conflict of interest affecting him. In addition, Inspector Sammut told the court that Xuong had also been caught on August 5 while companion Giap. During the arrest, Xuong was found possessing Giap’s Dutch passport, which he had presented to immigration officials.

Upon investigation, the police also discovered that Xuong was carrying a passport issued to a Vietnamese woman who was not present then. In a statement provided to the police, Xuong admitted to receiving at least €20,000 for his services.

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