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Man in Custody Suspected of Human Trafficking

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Man in Custody Suspected of Human Trafficking

Police car

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Land’s Court has extended the custody of a man who is suspected of trafficking dozens of people to the country, RÚV reports. The man is from Pakistan, but his identity remains unclear. Police believe it likely the man has also committed fraud and money laundering, and has exploited foreign nationals lacking a work or residence permit in Iceland by selling them forged documents.

The court has extended his custody, which began in early October, until December 7. The custody order from the District Court of Reykjanes reveals that various foreign nationals worked in Iceland using his kennitala (social security number) in different jobs, the salaries for which were deposited to his bank account.

Police were tipped off on the man by a traveller at Keflavík airport who attempted to use a false passport to enter the country. He told authorities he would be picked up at the airport by the suspect, now in custody.

A search of two apartments on Snorrabraut leased to the man led to several arrests and passport confiscations. The suspect had a safety deposit box at Arionbanki bank, where police discovered euros, pounds, a telephone, and a tablet.

A statement from the Suðurnes police chief says the investigation is in full swing. The case is a sensitive one, as the man is suspected of organised crime across borders and is believed to have collaborators. Icelandic police have sought assistance from foreign authorities in the matter.

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