Manama: Bahrain security authorities have arrested 14 Iranians who had entered the country using forged passports.

The Director-General of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science in Bahrain said the forged passports were of Asian countries and bore fake names.

After the initial information was verified, an investigation was launched and the suspects identified and arrested, he added.

The Iranians had obtained the passports to enter Bahrain in coordination with Bahrainis of Iranian origin, the official said.

“We urge all citizens to verify the identities and documents of their employees and, in case of any doubt, to contact the nearest police station or call the police hotline,” he said.

Bahrain cut off diplomatic ties with Iran after relations between both countries sank to their lowest level, and in solidarity with Saudi Arabia which severed ties with Tehran following the storming of its diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad.

In 2010, 14 Chinese nationals were arrested for trying to enter the country with fake Japanese passports.

The detainees had attempted to enter the country on a pre-dawn flight from a neighbouring country. The police, who had doubts about the authenticity of two of their passports, detained the holders and eventually arrested the remaining 12.

A spokesperson for the police later said the detainees admitted they paid huge sums for the passports and that they intended to work in Bahrain.

One day earlier, two Iranians were arrested as they attempted to enter Bahrain with fake UK passports.

According to a Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs director, Bahrain International Airport and the King Fahad Causeway linking Bahrain with Saudi Arabia registered 898 cases of forged travel documents between 2008 and 2012.