Two Iranians have been caught using fake Israeli passports as they attempted to leave the South American country of Ecuador to fly to Spain.
The two, a man and a woman in their 20s, were caught by Ecuador passport control with the forged travel documents, which used personal information of two Israelis - an 11-year-old girl still in possession of her own passport and an adult male who recently reported his passport as stolen.
The two Iranians successfully entered Ecuador at the end of January using the fake passports. It is currently unclear why the couple were using Israeli documents or whether they had any ties to Iranian intelligence.
Ecuador border control verified the two passports were forged with the help of Israel's Border Crossings, Population and Immigration Administration.
The couple was arrested shortly afterwards and their real Iranian passports discovered in their possession.
The Border Crossings, Population and Immigration Administration often receives requests from other countries asking them to verify Israeli passports due to the frequency of attempts to forge them.
The administration has stressed the importance of keeping a close eye on travel documents and making sure they do not end up in the hands of people from potentially hostile countries.
This is not the first time that Iranians have been caught in South America using fake Israeli passports.
In March 2019, authorities in Buenos Aires apprehended two Iranians with forged Israeli passports that were riddled with spelling mistakes in Hebrew, the local media reported at the time.
According to the reports, the passports were made out to Netanel and Rivka Toledano but the ID numbers on the documents belonged to French-Israeli couple David and Brigitte Assouline.