POLICE in Almeria have uncovered a residency papers in exchange for cash scam, making 14 arrests.
The investigations began in June when false documents were detected at the Almeria Immigration Office.
They were being presented to gain temporary residency authorisations on the basis of exceptional circumstances and therefore to legalise the situation of foreigners without papers.
Foreigners in an irregular situation and trying to get authorisation for a valid residency permit have to get a report in support of their request from the council of the area in which they are registered as a resident.
The report accredits the individual’s social integration into the municipality.
Police discovered cases where after failing to get a report in their favour, a falsified document was produced by copying the parameters established in a report which was favourable. This was then presented with the rest of the required documentation to get a valid Spanish residency.
The investigation led to a well-known lawyer with an office in Nijar. According to police he acted as his clients’ representative at the Immigration Office and contributed to the falsification of the supporting reports.
Police said the lawyer specialised in the documentation issued by Nijar and Almeria councils.
Investigators established that 12 foreigners had fraudulently obtained residency authorisations, which were immediately withdrawn. They now face charges for falsifying documentation.
The lawyer and one his employees were detained and charged with aiding illegal immigration, a well as a crime of falsifying documents.