Police in Italy have arrested three people suspected of drawing up fake employment contracts for migrants to facilitate their residency in Italy, and allow them to draw benefits from the government. Almost 80 people are under investigation.
Authorities in Italy have arrested three Italian citizens for drawing up false contracts for foreigners living in the country. The falsified documents reportedly included fake work contracts that would allow migrants to obtain residency permit as well as enable immigrants to receive assistance from the Italian National Social Security department (INPS), such as maternity benefits and unemployment pay.
A total of 78 people are under investigation now, some of whom are alleged to have used the fake job contracts to get residency permits and INPS assistance after having paid high sums to obtain the false documents.
Fake employment contracts
The arrests are the result of an investigation that began in 2017. At the time, authorities became suspicious about the fact that some foreigners – mostly Albanian nationals – who had been arrested for burglary had all received their residency permits by being employed in different companies owned by a 77-year-old Padua-based businessman.
According to Infomigrants, the investigation revealed that the immigrants had never actually been employed by any of his companies. Instead they had only been shown to be working for his businesses on paper, in order to obtain residency in Italy. The inquiry found two other individuals to also have been involved in the execution of the fraudulent arrangement.
The investigation further revealed that many of the companies used as a smokescreen had no economic activity at all – despite the fact that in many instances the illegal operation involved false pay slips. Damages to INPS alone have been calculated at around €80,000.