More Swedish passports reported "missing"

An increasing number of Swedish passports are being registered lost or stolen, Swedish television SVT reports.

A total of 177,000 passports are now unaccounted for. Police suspect some of them are ending up in the hands of criminal gangs and people smugglers.

"Swedish passports are safe, they aren't often forged. Instead people use 'look-a-likes'", deputy police commissioner Sören Clerton from the National Criminal Police tells SVT, "they sell the passport to someone that looks like the person on the passport photo, so they can get into Sweden", he adds.

Passports can sell for as much as SEK 80,000, according to SVT.

46,000 passports were reported missing in 2008, last year that number had grown to over 60,000.

Police now want to be able to bring anyone in for questioning that has reported three passports missing over a short period of time, at the moment they have to suspect a crime has taken place before they can question anyone.