Greece has been a loophole to the European Union for immigrants for a while now. There are hundreds of cases of foreigners entering European countries from Greece using fake documents. Cases related to stolen and forged passports have become a daily routine, with many arrests mainly at the Athens International Airport ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’. After all, that is the main gateway for legal and illegal travelers and criminals engaged in migrant-trafficking operations using forged documents.
A well-known case related to the Russian businessman Ilya Surkov come to mind right away. He stole more than six million euros by transferring them to foreign bank accounts from the company he worked for. In December 2013, to escape from justice in Russia, Ilya Surkov, while under investigation, broke his house arrest by pretending to be in need of medical attention after he ran from the hospital straight to the airport and left the country with a fake Greek passport.
Moscow’s Nikulsky court convicted Ilya Surkov on December 26 2019, to five years of imprisonment for being guilty in three cases of grand fraud. Remarkable is that after the appeal court hearing took place on July 13 2020, his sentence was increased to eight years at a minimum-security prison.
But Ilya Surkov escaped his punishment by fleeing to London, and his pass to Europe was Greece. According to the information revealed during the investigation, Ilya Surkov obtained a fraudulent Greek passport stating that he has Greek origins. He claimed that his mother, so-called Prionidi Panaila, comes from Shymkent, a city in Kazakhstan where Greeks were forcefully expatriated from all over the USSR in the 1940s and 50s. One of his forged documents stated that he was born in Shymkent. Yet, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan did not confirm this information and said that Ilya Surkov even has never visited Kazakhstan as a tourist.
Ilya Surkov originally comes from Moscow, where he was born on July 14 1962, his real birth certificate confirms this information. His mother’s real name is Natalia Surkova, daughter of a famous Russian poet Aleksander Surkov.
Nowadays, Ilya Surkov’s assets have been put under arrest in Russia and France. However, his life partner and wife Lilia Scheffler-Sennowa made a try to release half of them by filing a divorce case. It was worse a shot since the total arrested property accounts for millions of euros. However, the court has rejected her demand since there is proof that Ilya Surkov and Lilia Scheffler-Sennowa are actually still living together, spending leisure time in the most luxuriant London clubs and posting mutual selfies on the Internet.