Video

Iraqi refugee spends thousands on fake ID in failed bid to reach Europe

A 24-year-old Iraqi dreaming of a life in Europe talks to CBC's Susan Ormiston about his costly, complicated experience with the black market for fraudulent ID and travel documents.

Attempt to reach Europe using forged papers fails, but refugee says he will try again by boat

With little to lose, many refugees will attempt to reach Europe via an underground route, with falsified documents -- which authorities warn is fast becoming a sophisticated criminal network. 4:02

As millions of people struggle to make a life after being forced out of their homes in Syria and Iraq, CBC's Susan Ormiston spoke to one 24-year-old Iraqi about his attempt to travel to Europe after spending thousands to buy fraudulent travel documents.

"For Iraqis particularly, their legal status is ambiguous, and many are desperate to leave," Ormiston reported from Amman, Jordan.

The man CBC News spoke to travelled from Jordan to Turkey, where he spent thousands of euros to buy fraudulent Hungarian papers that he hoped would get him into Europe. He didn't make it and was eventually deported to Jordan, where he's been living for several years. 

The forgers returned some of his fee because he didn't get to Germany, he told CBC News.

He said he has to stay in Jordan for a year, but will try again. The next time, he said, he'll try to reach Europe's shores from a boat launched in Turkey. If he's detained, he said, he'll tell authorities he's Syrian.

Watch the video above to see the story of one man's experience with the complex — and costly — black market in travel documents.

CBC News agreed not to name this 24-year-old Iraqi, who obtained fraudulent papers in Turkey to try to facilitate a journey to Europe after years stuck in Jordan. (CBC)