It was further revealed Monday that the couple carried four fake passports — two with which they boarded an Air Europe flight from Spain, and two Israeli ones which they used to enter Argentina, reported Clarin, an Argentinean newspaper.
The two — 27 year old Sajjad Naserani and 30 year old Mahsoreh Sabzali, presented themselves as Netanel and Rivka Toledano, but used poorly faked Israeli passports with blunt spelling mistakes. Border control officers discovered the passports were stolen, but sent the two on their way and notified authorities.
Argentinean officials said the name Toledano raised the authorities’ suspicion, since during the 1990’s, an Israeli diplomat named Toledano worked in the Buenos Aires Israeli embassy.
The Argentinean Interior Ministry updated authorities in Jerusalem, who quickly discovered the passports were stolen from an Israeli couple — Brigitte and David Asulin — and that both photos and fingerprints of the couple don’t match the original passport owners.
The couple was arrested in their hotel room in Buenos Aires, and is questioned by the counterterrorist unit. The man claimed he was a photographer, while the woman said she was an engineer and an architect, and the two said they escaped Iran through Turkey, Greece and then Spain — where they got the fake passports.
Investigations revealed the couple changed hotels three times in three days and used pseudonyms before they were seized. They also made an 85-seconds -long phone call from one of their cell phones, and authorities are still trying to determine who they talked to. Since the two speak no Spanish, it’s likely they called a Farsi speaker, perhaps a member of the Iranian community in Argentina.
A camera, two cell phones and a laptop were seized from the couple, and police forces were able to get some information from one of the hacked phones.
Naserani and Sabzali were arrested two days before the anniversary of the bombing that took place in the Israeli Embassy in the city in 1992, which killed 29 people.