Authorities in Germany are powerless to halt the asylum claims of tens of thousands of migrants using fake Syrian documents, MailOnline can reveal.

Officials registering applications have been overwhelmed by the 500,000-plus refugees who have streamed into the country since the beginning of the year.

A huge number of claims for asylum that are supported by passports and identity cards that appear to be false, a police forensic expert has revealed.

MailOnline highlighted the roaring trade in false Syrian documents in September.

The exclusive story revealed how a reporter bought a Syrian passport, identity card and driving licence for $2000 under the name of a real man who was killed in Aleppo.

Police forgery expert Joerg Aehnlich told MailOnline: ‘I know their documents are false but I cannot give evidence in court that they [the asylum seekers] are not Syrian because I cannot prove it.’

Migrants are using documents stolen from Syrian refugees, identity cards manufactured to order or simply papers borrowed from friends and relatives to support their asylum application, Mr Aehnlich, of the Lower Saxony Criminal Forensic Institute has revealed.

This means applications for refugee status have been allowed to proceed because the authorities cannot prove they are fake.

He told MailOnline: ‘Some of the passports contain the false personal information in fake documents, some passports contain genuine personal information in fake documents and some passports contain genuine personal information in genuine documents. But we cannot prove which ones are genuine and which are false.’

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