Some corrupt officials in some of the German consulates in the Middle East have been discovered to be in collaboration with people who smuggle in illegal immigrants. These officials have been selling forged visas to immigrants who want to move to Germany as asylum seekers. According to the German Der Spiegel weekly which carried this news, these corrupt officials have been smoothly running these schemes in many visa centers of German consulates abroad, particularly in the Middle East. The paper tagged the corrupt practice an “Achilles heel” in the movement against smuggling. It also went ahead to call the corrupt local workers there, the “weak spot” of Germany's visa offices since they were the ones who were directly involved in the crime. A German consulate in the Iraqi city of Erbil was involved in a fraudulent practice like this as revealed by the paper. Locals involved in the human trafficking business promised to get their clients, German visas through corrupt officials at the consulate. Their process skipped the approval that comes from Germany's department of visa and registration. Getting this document which allowed a prospective refugee to officially enter Germany under the refugee reception program cost the clients something between $3,000 and $13,000. This corrupt practice, as it was reported, had a smooth-running from August to December 2017 before officials from the Foreign Ministry discovered their shady deals. During the period when they were in business, they managed to sell about two dozens of visas. This number is speculation because the real number might be more. This same visa fraud happened in the German consulate in Beirut, Lebanon, orchestrated by a man named Mohamad J. This man, according to reports, had been selling visas in the embassy between December 2014 and May 2015. Mohamad had been charged to court in Germany on over 11 visa-sales instances. The number of visa fraud activities might be more as investigations revealed up to 201 suspicious visas processed in the embassy within that period. Any reaction by the government? According to Der Spiegel, the authorities in Germany seem reluctant in investigating these cases. Stay connected to Visa Time to get updates about visa news from Asia, Africa, US, Americas, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East! We will also assist you with the visa process for the chosen country.
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