An investigation is under way following suspicion that a regional officer of Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), along with several accomplices, accepted bribes from some 1,200 migrants.
According to an investigation conducted by Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and Radio Bremen, the official used to be a head of the BAMF office in Bremen and worked with three lawyers, who helped her wrongfully grant asylum to migrants from other federal states. There also was an interpreter and an intermediary involved in the case. The BAMF officer has since been removed from her position.
The BAMF regional office director allegedly accepted several hundred migrants between 2013 and 2017 without valid legal reasons. Most of them were reportedly from the Yezidi Kurdish religious community in Iraq. After months of investigation, authorities searched two law firms and six apartments on Wednesday and Thursday.
Germany has been the key destination for thousands of refugees and migrants coming to Europe since 2015. Last year, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported that the population in Germany increased by 600,000 in 2016 and reached 82.8 million due to the influx of migrants, adding that at the end of 2015 the population of the country was only 82.2 million people.