Brexit is only a year old or so, and already it’s had a lot of implications for the British consumer. Because of the drop of the British pound, imported European goods have risen considerably in price, causing producers to come up with inventive solutions, such as offering at same price a chocolate bar now 25% smaller in size, hoping consumers won’t notice. If they do push through the correct price versus the Euro or Dollar, it means a price increase of 30%, which they rather don’t do.
However, Brexit is also seemingly having an effect elsewhere on British goods. In an undercover documentary about to be shown on UK television tonight, it will be revealed that the price of a British passport being sold in Greece to immigrants wanting to cross Europe and get into England has dropped from £2,000 a year ago to about £500 right now.
The dramatic drop in price is not only due to the demise in pound value though, but also because the European black market was flooded with about 20,000 fake British passports in the timespan of a year, making it easier for police to spot fakes.
Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, commented: ‘I think it is one of the fastest growing criminal problems we have in Europe. Over 20,000 of them we know are circulating in the EU and we haven’t seen these numbers before so it’s quickly becoming something that’s really supporting a number of criminal problems and in an expanding way across Europe.
‘I think the migrant crisis was definitely a spur. In 2015 we had five times as many irregular migrants coming through the external border of the European Union compared to the year before. That created this whole new demand for a criminal industry that quickly established over the following months.
‘I’m afraid the reality is we are facing highly challenging, volatile security threats – especially in the field of terrorism which are really stretching the capability of our security community across Europe.’
The deal of buying a fake British passport comes with advice on with UK airport has the least security checks and how to blend in with the British passengers upon arrival.
The latest estimations are that about 11,000 immigrants in Europe have a fake British passport.
Europol also notes that the price drop of fake British passports could mean it will become easier for ISIS fighters to acquire one.