German police smash EU-Nigeria sham marriage ring

2017-09-12 19:45
Flag and map of Nigeria. (iStock)

Flag and map of Nigeria. (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - German police on Tuesday said they have broken up a fake marriage ring that paired Portuguese women with Nigerian men who paid thousands of euros for a chance to gain EU residency.

Police arrested five suspects, including four women, as they carried out raids in more than 40 locations across the German capital, Berlin police and prosecutors said in a statement.

Authorities also raided homes in nearby Potsdam, Frankfurt and the eastern city of Goerlitz.

Investigators believe the suspects recruited women in Portugal, while in Nigeria, the gang charged men up to $15 000 for the scheme, with part of the money going to the Portuguese "brides".

The ring would then falsify documents such as marriage certificates.

Armed with the fake marriage certificate, the pretend couples would meet briefly in Germany to present themselves to authorities and apply for a legal, EU residency permit for the "husband", news agency DPA reported, quoting a police spokesperson.

"So far we have established more than 70 cases where marriages were faked to obtain EU residency permits," the police statement said.

Officers seized hard drives, mobile phones and ID documents in the raids, as well as 300 000 euros in cash, according to DPA.

German police said they worked with Europol and their Portuguese counterparts to smash the ring, and that searches also took place in Portugal.

Faced with an influx of more than a million migrants since 2015, German authorities say they are increasingly coming across cases of counterfeit marriages as it has become more difficult for migrants from Africa and Asia to claim asylum.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.