Iranians held in Argentina had 4 forged passports


Buenos Aires — An Iranian couple arrested in Argentina last week had four forged Israeli passports with them, and switched hotels three times in 24 hours.

The two — Sajad Samiel Nasran, 27, and Masura Sabazali, 30 — are being interrogated on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity.

The two arrived from Spain to Argentina on an Air Europe flight. Their passports identified them as Netanel and Rivka Toledano, which aroused airport police suspicion, since an Israeli embassy attaché is named Toledano.

Police first thought the passports were stolen but numerous misspellings in Hebrew let both Argentine and Israeli officials realize the passports were forged. Passports with the same serial numbers were reported stolen in the past.

The two were arrested in their hotel room, by an order by a federal judge following a counterterrorism unit operation. They remain in custody and have been interrogated by a judge and a prosecutor. Neither of them speaks Spanish, and police are trying to locate a Farsi translator.

Upon their arrest, the two said they were Iranian citizens who had fled their country through Turkey and Greece, and managed to reach Spain. They provided little additional information to the interrogators, who are analyzing the suspects’ personal computer and telephones.

One of their phones is a locked iPhone which are difficult to get into.

Argentine authorities have raised the level of national alert following this affair. At least until they crack the iPhone.

Monday marks the 27th anniversary of the bombing of an Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. — Agencies