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Bribery scandal hits Foreign Ministry

The Local · 18 Dec 2010, 14:43

Published: 18 Dec 2010 14:43 GMT+01:00

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The Foreign Ministry and the police are reportedly investigating eight cases on suspicion of trafficking and accepting bribes. Those accused are natives of the respective countries, and are thought to have systematically handed out visas ordered by the traffickers.

The embassy workers allegedly received several hundred euros in cash to overlook false information in the visa applications.

Suspects have been questioned in the embassies by German police and released. The police believe the smuggling rings are being orchestrated from within Germany.

According to Der Spiegel, some of the women brought into Germany by this route were subsequently made to work in Hamburg brothels.

Spokesman for the German state prosecutors Martin Steltner confirmed that an investigation was under way, but would not comment on any details.

A similar scandal broke in 2004 when it was revealed that several thousand illegal visas were granted by the German embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.

At the time, the so-called "Volmer Order" of March 2000 came under particular criticism for its stipulation to embassies: "When in doubt, grant freedom to travel."

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:03 December 18, 2010 by Joshen
I read the headline a bit quick and wondered what Ribery did this time! :D
15:10 December 18, 2010 by yhsanjay
That the oldest profession on the earth is leading to such criminal acts by embassy employees and the fly by night, illegal, immigration cartel abroad needs to be checked and nipped in the bud.
15:18 December 18, 2010 by raandy
When traffickers can order visas in that many places ,I would say this has more than bloomed. A through overhaul of hiring procedures and a witch hunt is what is needed in all German Embassies that generate visas.
17:12 December 18, 2010 by catjones
Send the visa people from Berlin to Africa, South America and the former Soviet Union, they'll put a stop to all visas.
10:43 December 20, 2010 by mixxim
Catjones is right. Were officials, both visa` officers and immigration officials to see conditions for themselves in those countries, no visas would be granted. Anyone who believes that someone living in a slum in Africa or former USSR can afford a two week holiday in Germany is living with the fairies.
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