Today, a major operation by the Greek Police Internal Investigation Service is taking place against police officers accused of illegally issuing identity cards, residence permits and other documents to foreigners.
The police at this moment are conducting dozens of searches of homes and public services, as well as dozens of arrests. According to the Greek edition Newsbomb.gr, among those arrested are police officers working in district offices, as well as heads of local government bodies.
According to the newspaper, the senior officer, the head of the police department, was also handcuffed. Police officers are arrested in Aspropyrgos, Omonia, Glyfada and Kallithea. In the center of Athens, a detachment of special forces of the MAT police was sent to the police station, apparently in order to avoid resistance.
It is reported that members of a criminal organization, with the help of the police, local government officials, employees of the services responsible for the preparation and issuance of documents, with the participation of lawyers, are accused of issuing (for a fee) documents to foreigners without the necessary supporting documents, so that they can then obtain a permit for residence or identity card. In particular, the original purpose was to issue a relevant certificate of applying for a residence permit, and then – a residence permit.
The investigation took many months, and several units reviewed all of the identity documents issued by them during the duration of the scheme. According to police sources, a number of documents confirming illegal actions were seized.
A criminal case has been initiated against the detainees on charges of a criminal organization, forgery of documents, theft of a false certificate, bribery. The police have not yet made an official statement and it is expected that this will happen tomorrow.
A similar investigation 2.5 years ago led to the firing and opening of criminal cases against more than 20 employees of the department for work with foreigners in Athens. Several criminal cases were opened, incl. and many well-known immigrant lawyers.