Corruption in Europe

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Blackwater, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Dear friends,

    Iam opening a new thread,where we will discuss corruption in Europe, any loop poles in immigration laws and other law and order situation and social malpractice,student visas,work visas future and their loop poles etc etc:namaste::namaste:
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ex-UK police officer convicted of corruption


    A former senior British police officer was sentenced to jail on corruption charges Monday for falsely arresting a business rival over a financial dispute.

    A jury in London found Ali Dizaei, a former commander with London’s Metropolitan Police, guilty of misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice. He was accused of making threats, assault, false arrest and faking evidence against Iraqi businessman Waad al-Baghdadi in a dispute over payment for work on Dizaei’s website.

    It was 49-year-old Dizaei’s second trial on the charges, which stemmed from a July 2008 altercation outside a London restaurant that ended with al-Baghdadi, then 24, in handcuffs. Dizaei told colleagues al-Baghdadi had attacked him, and the younger man spent 24 hours in a jail cell before being released


    Ex-UK police officer convicted of corruption - Boston.com
     
  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    In Greece, 'corruption pervades every corner of life'




    Jon Henley is travelling through Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece to hear the human stories behind the European debt crisis. Here Leonidas Pitsoulis describes Greek corruption

    Europe on the breadline: live tour – interactive

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    Many Greeks have extremely low levels of personal debt – by western standards. Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images


    Leonidas Pitsoulis, 43, returned to Thessaloniki seven years ago after leaving at 18 to study and then teach in America and at the LSE in London. Coming back as an adult after leaving as a teenager was an eye-opener, he said.

    "I really hadn't been aware of the scale of everyday corruption here," he said. "You just don't pick up on that, as a kid. But coming back, and when you're used to another way of doing things, it really, really strikes you."

    Corruption pervades every corner of day to day life in Greece, Pitsoulis said. "From the doctor who takes his consultation fee without declaring it, to the bar-owner who buys his stock cash, no questions asked," he said. "It's just unthinking; the way it is."

    Nobody gets a job because they're the candidate best qualified and suited for it, he said: "You get a job because you're the son or nephew or cousin or old schoolfriend of someone who knows someone who might want a little service.

    "I saw it in my military service –there I was, coming back from the US with a PhD, you might think they'd try and make sensible use of me somehow. But I was sent to an island to kick my heels, while the 19-year-old sons of people who knew people got to do quite serious jobs in Athens.

    "It's one of the reasons why the state administration is so ineffective – you have people handling big sums of money, public money, who have no specialist education or training for that kind of job. Amazing, really."

    Like all his colleagues at Thessaloniki university, where he teaches maths, his salary has been cut almost in half – from around €40,000 to €24,000, he said – and he's been hit by an array of new and higher taxes.

    A saving grace for many Greeks, he says, is the extremely low level of personal debt, by western standards, of most households. Most middle-class Greeks own their homes outright; there's a "cultural aversion" to debt that leaves many in a better position than, say, debt-laden Britons or Americans would be if their governments tried the same draconian austerity measures.

    But what alarms him more is that he can't see a political way out of the current crisis.

    "Economically, we have two choices: leave the euro and revert to the drachma," he said, "which is probably possible because I think now the EU banks will be protected if we default. But that would have a huge downside: all those wealthy Greeks who have euros stashed away abroad would become much, much wealthier in drachma. That doesn't bear thinking about.

    "Or, and I think this is what the government is doing, we can devalue indirectly, by drastically lowering the standard of living. We can't devalue the currency, because it's the euro. But they can do it indirectly, by squeezing us till the pips squeak."

    Understandably, this is not a popular strategy. "That's the issue," Pitsoulis says. Politically, I can't see the way out of this. In the past this kind of situation might have led to a coup d'état. Now, I don't know. Something needs to be done to change this system, and it won't be possible while it's still in place. It's like a machine with too many viruses; we need to reboot, wipe the hard disk, start again. But how?"

    Greece's economy could be placed under some kind of international supervision, he suggested; although that would never be politically acceptable. He remains, though, cautiously optimistic: "There's a lot of talent here, a hell of a lot," he said. It's just stifled by the corruption, the inefficiencies, the system. We need to reset, start afresh. That's an enticing idea, at least."

    In Greece, 'corruption pervades every corner of life' | World news | guardian.co.uk
     
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  5. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Essex immigration officer who admitted visa fraud jailed

    Immigration officer in visa fraud

    An immigration officer who admitted issuing visas to scores of immigrants not entitled to stay in the UK has been jailed for seven years.

    Samuel Shoyeju, 53, of Namur Road, Canvey Island, Essex, admitted misconduct in a public office at Basildon Crown Court.

    He wrongly granted leave to remain to 44 non-EU residents while working for the UK Border Agency.

    Only 14 of the false letters that he issued have been recovered.

    Judge Christopher Mitchell said the case threatened to undermine the hard-won reputation for "probity and honesty" of British civil servants.

    'Not all traced'

    He added: "Actions like yours call into question in the public mind the entire integrity of the immigration system when, at the present time, immigration and immigration decisions are extremely sensitive."

    Basildon Crown Court heard the "treasured status" allowed immigrants to live, work and claim benefits as well as applying for full British citizenship.

    The recipients, who are all believed to be Nigerian, ranged from asylum seekers to those who were identified as "overstayers".

    Prosecutor Lucy Kennedy said: "Not all of those people have been traced."

    Shoyeju, who worked as a line manager in Croydon, amended and destroyed electronic and paper records to cover his tracks.

    He admitted misconduct in public office by falsely granting indefinite leave to remain between 2006 and 2007.

    Although the prosecution has not been able to prove a financial motive, the court heard thousands of pounds were paid into his bank account during the time of the offence.

    Stephen Linehan QC, in mitigation, said that there was not sufficient evidence that Shoyeju had a financial motive and could not be sentenced on that basis.

    Shoyeju arrived in the UK in 1988 and was granted indefinite leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen and was granted full citizenship in 1996.

    Joe Dugdale, the UK Border Agency's head of human resources, said: "Samuel Shoyeju abused the trust placed in him as a public servant, and the sentence he has been given today reflects the severity of his crimes
     
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A tale of two shambles as immigration officials ignore evidence of Pakistani marriage visa fraud


    Thousands of marriage visas were granted to Pakistanis last year without proper checks, a damning report reveals today.

    Immigration officials ignored possible evidence of fraud in nearly a third of applications which resulted in visas being granted, inspectors said.

    John Vine, Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, said the lack of proper scrutiny amounted to a failure to protect Britain’s borders.

    Figures from last year showed 6,750 Pakistanis were granted marriage visas - allowing them to come to live with their husband or wife in this country - meaning more than 2,000 visas may have been wrongly granted in just 12 months.

    The revelation is the latest in a string of damaging blows for UKBA.

    Last year MPs branded the agency ‘not fit for purpose’ after officials admitted losing track of 40,000 people who arrived on visas which have since expired.

    Only last week it emerged the giant £1.2billion e-Borders scheme - designed to track illegal immigrants, terrorists and foreign criminals - was more than a year behind schedule.

    Rules dictate that for a marriage visa to be awarded, both husband and wife must show they have enough money to support themselves. This can include references from employers as proof of employment or bank account statements to show evidence of savings.

    But inspectors found that in 31 per cent of cases in which visas were granted, officials failed to scrutinise evidence that applicants might be lying.

    They found ‘unexplained cash deposits’ in accounts, or references from employers which contained obvious spelling mistakes - suggesting they could be fake.

    Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch UK, called for a ‘thorough investigation’ into the revelations.

    'Very concerned': Immigration Minister Damian Green said he was determined to make border controls in this country 'more robust'
    He said: ‘This is very serious indeed. Thousands are being granted not just access to "Lack of scrutiny" Britain but a meal ticket for life on bogus applications.’

    In one case uncovered by inspectors, a visa was granted despite the resident husband receiving council tax benefits and lying about his job.

    Further checks revealed the reference letter from his employer was fake and he was claiming a raft of other benefits and tax credits.

    Each visa grants the holder the right to live here for two years, and after that they can apply to remain indefinitely.

    Mr Vine attacked ‘serious organisational failings’ and a ‘lack of rigorous scrutiny’ in the cases inspectors examined.

    The chaos came after processing was moved from Pakistan to Croydon and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, he said.

    Of the 49 cases inspectors looked at, 15 showed visas were granted without proper checks. Of those, nine needed further checks on financial support and six of references containing mistakes suggesting they were fake.

    Immigration minister Damian Green said he was ‘very concerned’ about the findings. He said: ‘This report covers a period when the Agency had to make significant changes to the Pakistan visa operations due to the bombing of the Marriott Hotel and the deteriorating security situation in the country.

    ‘I am determined to drive up standards and ensure that UK border controls are robust.’

    A Home Office spokesman said: ‘It is completely wrong to draw global conclusions from this very small sample.’

    Meanwhile English language tests will become compulsory for immigrants wanting to join their husband or wife in Britain from November, ministers confirmed yesterday.

    Migrants from outside the EU who are married or engaged to a Briton will have to prove they have ‘conversational’ English before they can settle in the country.



    Read more: Immigration fraud: A tale of two shambles | Mail Online




    Read more: Immigration fraud: A tale of two shambles | Mail Online
     
  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Manchester vicar jailed for immigration fraud


    A Manchester vicar has been sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment for immigration fraud.

    On 26 January 2012 the Bolton Crown Court sentenced the Rev Canon Patrick Magumba following a guilty plea entered last December on one count of conspiracy to facilitate a breach of UK immigration law and to two counts of theft.

    Canon Magumba, a Ugandan immigrant and the former Team Vicar for the South Rochdale Team Ministry of St Peter’s, Newbold, St Luke’s Deeplish, and St Mary’s, Balderstone, was found to have conducted 21 fraudulent marriages at St Peter’s and 10 at St Luke’s between April 2008 and February 2011.

    On 13 March 2011, the Archdeacon of Rochdale told the congregation of St Peter’s Church that Canon Magumba had been arrested and the rectory and church searched by officers of the UK Border Agency in connection with an investigation of sham marriages in the North West.

    The police investigation found the vicar had also pocketed wedding and funeral fees, diverting £5,400 from St Peter’s and £2,908 from St Luke’s.

    Magumba showed no emotion as sentence was passed at Bolton crown court on Thursday after he admitted carrying out 28 sham weddings.

    As he handed down his sentence, Judge William Morris told Canon Magumba “whatever your motive for facilitating the fraudulent entry into this country of these individuals, neither you or anyone else in your place can place your conscience above the laws of this country. Your offences have brought scandal to the church and let down your family and parishioners.”


    http://geoconger.wordpress.com/2012...rch-of-england-newspaper-february-3-2012-p-7/
     
  8. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Arrests in immigration fraud investigation





    12 September 2011

    Officers have arrested 3 people as part of an operation targeting suspected abuse of the immigration system.

    Acting on intelligence, officers carried out dawn raids on addresses in the Wembley area on Monday 12 September.

    Officers arrested a British man and woman, aged 35 and 32, at one address and a 29-year-old Indian man at a separate address, all on suspicion of Conspiracy to Defraud the Secretary of State, Contrary to S.1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977.

    They are currently being questioned by officers.

    The suspects are alleged to have used a 'topping up scam' to evade the visa system by artificially inflating wages, enabling qualification for visas.
     
  9. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    East Africa: How Somali Asylum Seekers Get Fake Passports in Europe


    analysis


    In this second installment of the 44-day investigation by Star correspondent Kassim Mohammed, find out how Somali asylum seekers, denied refugee status in European countries, are involved in criminal syndicates to acquire the all important document

    Somalia is mired in a seemingly unending armed conflict between the Transitional Federal Government and Al Shabaab fighters. Mortar and rocket fire that the two warring factions exchange lead to casualties and the common man bears the brunt.

    Taking note of this grim reality, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued guidelines requesting host countries not to return any Somali seeking asylum to Southern and Central Somalia.

    The UNHCR has issued repeated warnings about the situation in Somalia and on May 11 last year, the agency issued guidelines aimed at strengthening international protection for people from this troubled nation.

    Among the recommendations in these guidelines is for countries experiencing large numbers of people seeking asylum to grant protection to people from southern and central Somalia on a group basis, and to extend complementary forms of international protection where refugee status is not granted.

    Under the European Union's Dublin II regulations, the country where a person first entered the EU is generally held responsible for examining that person's asylum claim.

    This it appears is great on paper. Some of the Somali refugees who hear of the fate of their countrymen living on the streets opt out of the asylum process.

    Passport syndicates

    Ali Mohamed, 25, came to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, from Italy in April and decided not identify himself to authorities but use unorthodox means to get his way to the United Kingdom. "I heard that the Netherlands is not a good place to seek asylum. I don't want to live on the streets. I will try my luck in London," Ali said.

    Ali was informed of Dutch passports for sale in Den Haag (The Hague). In the presence of the Star reporter, Ali was told by an Ethiopian man in the Dutch administrative capital to bring a passport size photograph to identify a passport that resembles him. Within five days, Ali managed to pocket a Dutch passport for 1,000 Euros (Sh126,000). "I called several of my relatives in Canada and Norway who each sent me some money and I managed to raise the amount. I know it's a bad thing but I am not planning to harm anyone, I just want a better life since my home country is uninhabitable," Ali remarks while keenly looking at the photo attached to the passport.

    Ali will now have to send back the passport after his arrival in his final destination- London. He went through Callais, France, and crossed the border into the United Kingdom. Immigration officials on both sides of the border didn't notice any abnormally.

    Keeping his promise to inform the Star on his progress of seeking asylum, Ali called after 17 days. "I am so happy. I have been accepted as a refugee here in the UK and all is well. I have also managed to send back the passport to the person who sold it to me. I hope it reaches him safely."

    The Ethiopian man who only identified himself as Elamanyahu for fear of arrest by Dutch authorities said he has been involved in this business for many years. He has a resident permit.

    According to Elamanyahu, a passport goes for between 300 Euros (Sh37,800) to 3,000 Euros (Sh378,000). The UK and Canadian passports are the most expensive - 3,000 Euros - followed by other Euro zone passports.

    "A fake one will cost you as less as 300 dollars (Sh37,800) while a genuine European passport goes for between 1,000 to 3,000 Euros (Sh136,000 to Sh378,000) depending on the country. The genuine one like the one Mohamed was lucky to receive must be returned to the owner."

    It's a risky business, says Elamanyahu, and most of the clients know this. They simply want to get out of the mess they are in. "On my part, I source for passports from other migrants who have been granted passports in Europe or any other western country and the owner gets 50 per cent of the money while the rest is mine." Ali is now in the UK under a different name and feels a heavy weight has been lifted off his weak shoulders.

    The Netherlands is home to at least 27,000 Somalis who have fled the violence in their homeland. Most of them feel safe and welcome in the Netherlands.

    The Star reporter managed to speak with 30 Somalis in different areas in the Netherlands who have been granted refugee status. Almost all said they are grateful to the Dutch government and its people. Most are, however, worried of the instability in their home country and hinted they will go back if peace is realised in the horn of Africa nation.

    Farimos Maalim of Karti Foundation in Eindhoven, an NGO that helps fight for the rights of asylum seekers, says peace in Somalia is the only way to end the plight of asylum seekers. "I met another Somali refugee the other day who told me 96 of them left Sudan, only 12 made to the border of Libya and the rest died on the way due to starvation and thirst. Out of the 12 that came to Libya, six were women and were forcefully taken by Libyan men who hinted they will marry them. Out of the six that remained two men died in Libya and only four managed to cross the sea to Italy. He came to Holland and the other three are still in Italy, so can you imagine all those problems?"

    Hussein M. Ahmed is a Somali who entered the Netherlands in 1991 and is now the director of Federatie Somalische Associaties Nederland (FSAN), an umbrella organisation of 52 NGOs that deal with issues that pertain to the interest of Somalis. He says the organization is working with the government to ensure a better asylum process. "Somalis are suffering in all spheres... there's nothing we gave this government to return to us but we are trying to lobby the government to change things and take care of the Somalis. Hopefully that will bear fruit."

    Efforts to reform and harmonise asylum procedures across the EU are yet to be streamlined. Studies by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in March 2010 and the European Commission in September found significant differences and shortcomings in the way asylum claims are handled across the EU.

    Jan Hofdijk is a Dutch lawyer based at The Hague. He has specialized in immigration issues for the last 30 years. Hofdijk was the lawyer of the controversial Somali author/anti-Islamist Ayan Hirsi when she entered the Netherlands in 1992.

    Hofdijk notes that Dutch rules are too severe and are unfriendly to migrants. According to Hofdijk, the interviewing officials are very rude to migrants. "I am now representing a girl from Burundi who is 12 years old but they treat her like she's an adult. They shouted at her that she's lying and I try to stop her from being returned to Burundi because that's a dangerous place for a girl like her... in general the cases are hard to win. You lose all."

    Hofdijk says the government is afraid of more people coming to The Netherlands and that no-one from the Government is willing to help these refugees who are abandoned to live on the streets.

    According to Human rights Watch report of 2010, new rules in July extended the 48-hour accelerated asylum procedure to eight days while making it the default procedure, despite domestic and international criticism that eight days are insufficient for a proper assessment, particularly in complex cases and those involving vulnerable groups.

    According to Human Rights Watch, in September last year, under a new policy announced in July, the Dutch government deported to Mogadishu a Somali who had been refused asylum, despite UNHCR guidelines advising against all returns to south-central Somalia.

    Whatever the case, most of these Somalis who fled their homes thinking the Netherlands and Italy and other European countries were paved with gold now say they are frustrated and depressed. It has turned out to be a prison rather than paradise.

    allAfrica.com: East Africa: How Somali Asylum Seekers Get Fake Passports in Europe
     
  10. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Fake EU passports delivered within 24 hours



    Fake European Union passports are now so easy to obtain in Europe that an investigator was able to buy false passports for 20 EU countries and twice enter Britain with a bogus document, the BBC's Panorama programme will claim next week.


    An undercover reporter for the programme will say that the dealers in false documents with whom she dealt were all confident about the quality of the passports and predicted that they would get her into Britain.


    One dealer, when asked if other clients had got into the UK successfully, said: "There were no failures."


    The dealer was so confident that he did not want to be paid until the reporter was in Britain. Another dealer said that if the passport failed, "the next one is on us".


    A fake EU passport is valuable, as it not only ensures entry to Britain but also access to benefits, banks accounts and health care.



    Panorama will say that counterfeit passports were delivered within 24 hours. The reporter was offered stolen passports with her photograph inserted and genuine passports applied for by women who resembled her and used pictures of her.

    The programme will claim that security is so lax in some nations that "look-alikes" applying for passports with other people's pictures did not even have to sign the document.

    On one occasion, every page of the reporter's fake Latvian passport was scrutinised by UK passport control and she was interviewed by a police officer but they failed to notice that her passport was a fake. On a second occasion, she arrived in London on the Eurostar with a stolen Estonian passport and got through.

    A Home Office spokesman said last night: "The UK takes seriously the issue of false documents and we work closely with our European partners to tackle this crime.

    "Lost and stolen passport information is submitted by individual EU member states to the Interpol database, to which the UK has access. UK lost and stolen passport data is submitted to Interpol by the Identity and Passport Service directly.

    "Those caught selling and using forged identity documents face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years."

    The spokesman added: "Additional security against forgery or counterfeiting has recently been introduced with ePassports with images securely stored in chips in the travel documents.

    "We are constantly rolling out new technology to help us detect forgeries, and just this week launched a new generation of passport readers. This new technology will be deployed in all major ports during spring 2007.

    "More than 100 million people come into and then go out of the country every year. We have set out a clear programme to strengthen our borders further with increasing use of biometrics and reintroduction of embarkation control and a doubling of enforcement."
     

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