Gov't employee arrested for selling visas to migrants

Interior Ministry employee arrested following long undercover investigation, suspected of bribery, fraud and forgery offenses.

June 14, 2011 21:02
1 minute read.
Eritrean migrants in Sinai waiting to be smuggled

Eritrean migrants in Sinai 311 (R). (photo credit: Asmaa Waguih / Reuters)

An Interior Ministry employee was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of issuing visas to African migrants in exchange for thousands of shekels in bribes.

The suspect, an employee at the ministry’s Infiltrators Investigation Unit in Lod, was arrested following a long undercover investigation by the Economic Crimes Unit of the police’s Lahav 433 Unit. He is suspected of bribery, fraud and forgery offenses, police said.

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“According to suspicions, elements within the unit of the Interior Ministry and others from outside the unit assisted in the issuing of illegal visas. We suspect the individuals worked together to issue visas that allowed non-eligible migrants to temporarily stay in the country and receive immunity from deportation,” police said.

The suspect was brought to the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and ordered held in custody for three days.

A police representative to court said the suspect issued at least 12 illegal visas.

Police said the suspect was cooperating with the investigation.

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