Lodi Valley News.com

Complete News World

44 arrested in Italy for visa fraud after PM’s complaint

44 arrested in Italy for visa fraud after PM’s complaint

ROME (Reuters) – More than 40 people have been arrested in Italy on suspicion of visa fraud, police and prosecutors said on Wednesday, weeks after Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni complained that mafia groups were exploiting the system to profit.
44 people were arrested, including 13 in prison, 24 under house arrest and seven in detention. They were charged with several crimes, such as criminal association with the aim of promoting illegal immigration, money laundering and false invoices.

Download a list of 10 small-cap stocks that, in the opinion of experts, have growth potential in the coming months and years.
10 other suspects were banned from carrying out commercial activities for 12 months.
According to a statement from prosecutors in the southern city of Salerno, near Naples, the suspects submitted fake visa applications in the names of migrants, who needed sponsorship from employers to begin the process.
Prosecutors said they had submitted “around 2,500 applications” starting in 2020 “based on non-existent or falsified data,” adding that migrants had paid up to €7,000 each to push the process forward through various bureaucratic hurdles.
Prosecutors said assets worth about €6 million were seized in profits from the alleged crimes, noting that some of the suspects accused of money laundering were linked to the Camorra mafia in Naples and the surrounding area.
Speaking to reporters, Salerno prosecutor Giuseppe Borrelli said the investigation had been accelerated after Meloni said in June he had informed the national anti-mafia prosecutor of his concerns about possible fraud.
As part of its tough stance on immigration, Meloni’s government has approved a series of measures to limit the arrival of illegal immigrants, but has also expanded channels for legal immigration in response to a growing labor shortage.
Last year, the government increased work visa quotas for non-EU citizens to a total of 452,000 for the period 2023-2025, an increase of almost 150% over the previous three years. In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, Italy issued just 30,850 visas.
Last month, Meloni said a disproportionate number of visa applications came from Campania – the economically depressed region that is home to Naples and the Camorra mafia – raising alarm bells.

See also  This store specializes in selling items in bags.