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Three arrested for immigrant residency permit fraud

Italian prison guard at centre of probe into false promises

09 December, 18:05
Three arrested for immigrant residency permit fraud (ANSA) - Milan, December 9 - A 49-year-old prison guard and two brothers of Egyptian origin were arrested Monday in Milan for allegedly issuing false documents to help illegal immigrants remain in Italy. The threesome were reported to police by immigrants who said they paid up to 5000 euros to be legalized without obtaining the desired result.

Investigators say at least 200 people turned to the trio, who raked in an estimated 500,000 euros from the scam. Investigators say the prison official acted as a 'guarantor' and 'promoter', while his Egyptian accomplices procured clients. The Egyptian brothers are themselves illegal immigrants, one a painter and the other a bricklayer, investigators say. The accomplices allegedly received a fraction of the fees extracted, while the lion's share reportedly went to the Italian.

Investigators reported a substantial balance on the prison official's bank account.

Stamps and scanned materials were found at the prison guard's home believed to have been used to furnish false documents to immigrants. North Africans filled out jerry-rigged residency permit requests which were never submitted to Italian authorities, according to the probe. After months of delays and excuses, a group of victims reported their woes to police.

The names of the suspects were not released.

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