Thursday, February 03, 2005

Iraqis With Fake Passports Detained In Mexico

POSTED: 11:58 am PST February 2, 2005

SAN DIEGO -- Two Iraqis have been charged with immigration offenses in Mexico after being arrested last week in Tijuana, according to Mexican officials.

The Iraqis, Steven Yohanan Kurkis and Kaml Meti Bashar, presented passports from Greece with the names Nikolaos Skarvelis and Nabil Megalli, according to a news release from the Mexican Attorney General's office obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The American, Samer Toma Oraha, presented an expired U.S. passport to Mexican immigration authorities after arriving in Tijuana from Mexico City on an Aeromexico flight Jan. 26, according to Mexican authorities.

The Iraqis traveled from Greece to Spain and then to Mexico and were going to be led into the United States by Orhora for a fee of $10,000 each, according to a preliminary investigation.

A federal judge in Mexico will determine whether to pursue the charges against the men. They were being held in a Tijuana state prison.