25 Sep 2008

Twelve middle-easterners detained in New Caledonia

10:39 am on 25 September 2008

Eleven Iraqis and a Palestinian have been detained in New Caledonia after flying in on false European passports.

The border police says four were initially picked up at the airport on Monday after flying in from Paris via Tokyo on forged Danish passports, claiming to be Iraqi Christians.

Subsequent checks led police to seven other Iraqis and a Palestinian at a Noumea hotel.

The 12, aged between 25 and 30, include three women.

Police checks were underway to determine if any of them had links to terrorism.

They are under investigation for illegal entry, falsification of official documents and links to crime.