German migration official under probe for ‘corruption’

The asylum agency director is suspected of having collaborated with the three lawyers who sent her files of asylum seekers from across Germany

BERLIN: An employee of the German migration agency is under investigation over suspicions that she may have granted asylum to 1,200 migrants in exchange for money or gifts in kind.


Investigators have opened a probe into “organised abuse of the asylum procedure” as well as for “corruption or bribery”, a spokeswoman for the Bremen prosecution service, Claudia Kueck, told AFP.

“To what extent was money or invitations involved is what the investigations are seeking to clarify,” she said, adding that the probe has been ongoing for several months.

The suspected employee is the director of the migration agency’s regional office in Bremen, Kueck said.

Besides her, three lawyers, an interpreter and an intermediary, are targeted in the probe.

Investigators had raided eight sites including the lawyers’ practice in Bremen and Lower Saxony on Wednesday and Thursday.

The asylum agency director is suspected of having collaborated with the three lawyers who sent her files of asylum seekers from across Germany.

Asylum was allegedly agreed even though the applicants may not have always fulfilled criteria, said German media reports.

German media said the suspect may have been given at least invitations to restaurants in exchange for favourable treatment of the files.

Germany’s migration agency has come under fire over what critics have described as chaotic handling of the asylum seeking process.

The arrival of more than a million asylum seekers since 2015 has put the service under intense pressure, forcing it to more than double its staff from 3,000 to 7,300 to handle the sudden influx.

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