November 25, 2015 / 1:23 AM / in 2 years

Honduras judge rules five Syrians to face charges of falsifying documents

Three of the five Syrians are seen inside a military vehicle as they are taken to court in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, November 24, 2015.Jorge Cabrera

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - A judge in Honduras on Tuesday ordered that five Syrians allegedly caught traveling with fake Greek documents as they tried to head north to the United States must remain behind bars as they await trial to face charges of falsifying documents.

The Syrians were caught last week after crossing continents from war-torn Syria, traveling through South America and ending up in Honduras. The five men, aged 19 to 30, acquired forged passports in Brazil, a U.S. source said.

The judge decided that the five men, who have asked to be granted refugee status, should remain behind bars pending the trial, said judicial spokeswoman Barbara Castillo.

"The judge has ruled that they must face charges of falsification of documents and they must stay in prison," she said.

A spurt of detentions in Latin America in the past week has exposed what could be a larger trend of Syrians traveling on doctored Greek passports far from traditional trails out of their country to Europe.

The cases have sparked alarm among some U.S. lawmakers after early reports suggested at least one of the attackers involved in the deadly shootings and suicide bombings in Paris last week may have slipped into Europe among migrants registered in Greece.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Leslie Adler

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