Home Feature News EU asks Poland for ‘clarifications’ on visa fraud allegations | CNN

EU asks Poland for ‘clarifications’ on visa fraud allegations | CNN

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EU asks Poland for ‘clarifications’ on visa fraud allegations | CNN

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CNN
 — 

The European Fee has despatched a letter to Poland asking for “clarifications,” amid reviews that Polish officers have been concerned in an alleged cash-for-visas scandal.

Poland’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Polish consulates have been accused of collaborating in a widespread unlawful scheme by means of which migrants from Africa and Asia have been issued Polish visas in alternate for giant sums of cash.

As Poland is a member of the passport-free Schengen space, visas issued by the nation grant holders free entry to the 27 European Union member states, in addition to Switzerland and Iceland.

The allegations might additional exacerbate European tensions over grain provides, which have led to Poland saying it’ll now not ship arms to Ukraine, and Kyiv submitting lawsuits towards three EU member states, together with Poland.

Brussels is “following the current media reporting about these alleged instances of fraud and corruption very intently,” in accordance with the European Fee’s spokesperson Anitta Hipper.

“These allegations are very regarding and provides rise to questions relating to the compliance with EU regulation,” Hipper mentioned in a Wednesday assertion. “This is the reason Commissioner (Ylva) Johansson wrote a letter to the Polish authorities to ask for clarifications.”

Johansson despatched a memo posing a “set of detailed questions,” and requested the Polish authorities to answer by October 3, Hipper mentioned.

“So, we depend on the Polish authorities to offer the mandatory data to the Fee and to research these allegations,” Hipper added.

The Polish Overseas Ministry refuted allegations the ministry “has imported lots of of 1000’s of migrants from Muslim nations and Africa.”

“It isn’t true,” the ministry mentioned in a press release on September 15. Claims that Poland is the EU chief issuing entry permits to the Schengen zone are additionally not true, the ministry added.

However Polish prosecutors introduced they’d introduced fees towards seven people in a visa-issuing scandal that resulted within the firing of the deputy overseas minister, in accordance with state information company PAP.

“The investigation was initiated on March 7 based mostly on data supplied by the Central Anticorruption Bureau,” Daniel Lerman, deputy director of the Nationwide Prosecutor’s Workplace Division of Organized Crime and Corruption, mentioned at a information convention on September 14, PAP reported.

“It considerations paid safety within the acceleration of visa procedures in relation to a number of hundred visas,” he mentioned, including that many of the visas have been refused.

These visa purposes associated to foreigners who utilized for visas at Polish diplomatic missions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, Singapore and the Philippines, PAP mentioned.

The Polish Overseas Ministry mentioned 1,951,000 nationwide and Schengen visas have been issued within the final 30 months.

Of that determine, Ukrainian nationals accounted for 990,000, Belarusian nationals accounted for 586,000, and different nationalities comprised 374,000 of the visas issued. The ministry mentioned the variety of visas distributed to Russian residents “has decreased considerably in recent times.

It repeatedly dismissed “false” allegations that consuls obtained orders from the ministry relating to visa issuance, including that choices on these purposes are made independently.

“Representatives of the administration of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs would not have the authority to instruct consuls to difficulty a particular visa resolution,” the ministry mentioned.

“It isn’t true that Poland outsourced all technical help for processing visa purposes to an exterior firm and that visa brokerage corporations acted as consular officers,” the ministry added.

The ministry mentioned visa purposes are submitted by candidates instantly on the consular workplace, or on the visa utility acceptance level.

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