Latin America & Caribbean

Honduras arrests five US-bound Syrians with stolen passports

One of the Syrians is escorted by police at Tegucigalpa airport Image copyright Reuters
Image caption One of the Syrians is escorted by police at Tegucigalpa airport

Police in Honduras have arrested five Syrians who were travelling on stolen Greek passports and reportedly intended to enter the US by land.

The five were detained after arriving on a flight from neighbouring El Salvador on Tuesday night, police said.

Honduran special police force spokeman Anibal Baca, said they had been tipped off by Greece about the men's imminent arrival.

Greek diplomats in Honduras say none of the five speak Greek.

They were held at the international airport in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

According to Honduran police, they were planning to travel to the northern city of San Pedro Sula.

From there, they intended to cross into Guatemala and then Mexico before reaching the US border, some 2,000km (1,200 miles) away.

Unknown identities

"The passports were stolen in Athens," said Mr Baca from the Police Investigations Division (DPI).

Image copyright AP
Image caption A possible review of the refugee programme has been dividing public opinion in the United States

"Those are not their real names. We are still trying to establish their identities," he told La Prensa newspaper.

The names on the passports are: Charalampos Kyrimopoulos, Alexandros Tzempelikos, Vasileios Bouzas, Konstantinos Marinakis and Anastasios Bellios.

Interpol will assist Honduran police with the investigation.

American politicians have expressed concern over the arrival of Middle Eastern refugees following Friday's attacks in Paris.

Republicans in the House of Representatives said they were drafting legislation to introduce tougher controls on Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

More on this story