Italian authorities have charged ten foreigners with belonging to a criminal organisation. They allegedly procured fake stay permits for hundreds of migrants.
A police investigation in the Sardinian town of Oristano uncovered a criminal organisation that reportedly procured fake stay permits for hundreds of migrants, using fake residences and fake work contracts.
As a result of the probe, which is still underway, investigators have already charged ten people for allegedly making false declarations about their own personal identities before a public official. The investigation began after a sudden rise in stay permit requests at the police station's immigration office.
Investigators are still examining hundreds of files related to stay permits that have already been issued, and the number of those charged could still rise significantly.
From Oristano to Belgium just for a stay permit
The probe led police to verify that many irregular migrants came to Oristano - which is located on the island of Sardinia - from mainland Italy just to get a stay permit that they had no legal right to obtain and that would then allow them to move freely throughout Italy and the EU.
In fact, two of those charged by police were migrants who had come directly from Belgium. The investigation also revealed a legal migrant who had hired two irregular migrants under the table and had them perform work.