From file: Migrants in the tent camp of San Ferdinando |  Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/Marco Costantino
From file: Migrants in the tent camp of San Ferdinando | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/Marco Costantino

Italian authorities have filed charges against 177 migrants in the Calabrian town of San Ferdinando accused of illicitly benefitting from the 'citizenship wage' basic income.

Carabinieri police in Gioia Tauro, Calabria, said on May 22 that they have filed charges against 177 migrants accused of illegally benefiting from the 'citizenship wage' basic income.

The operation "Temptation" concerned beneficiaries of the basic income in the Calabrian municipality of San Ferdinando. In particular, Carabinieri police and job inspectors from Reggio Calabria checked the qualifications of some 200 beneficiaries, most of whom live in a tent camp located in an industrial area next to the port of Gioia Tauro. Several irregularities emerged from the operation, investigative sources said.

The probe after a fight at a center for fiscal assistance

The investigation, which was carried out by comparing data available to police with the situation on the ground, found that the migrants did not meet the requirement of residence in Italy for at least 10 years, including a minimum of two years on a regular basis, the sources said.

The probe started after a fight at a center for fiscal assistance (CAF) in San Ferdinando, which involved a foreigner. Carabinieri police noticed that the man was complaining because he had not received the 'citizenship wage', which led investigators to suspect that more foreigners could be in an irregular situation, the sources said.

The operation revealed that half of the migrants staying at the tent camp had requested the basic income. Out of 250 applications, pensions and social security agency INPS had rejected 50 while the other 200 migrants had become eligible for the benefit. Out of the 200, 88% or 177 did not have the requirements, investigators said.

Damage for the State worth over 140,000 euros

Carabinieri police estimated that the damage for the State's coffers was worth over €140,000. Over the coming months, moreover, beneficiaries would have earned an additional €571,238. The 177 migrants were reported to prosecutors in Palmi for allegedly violating 'minimum wage' legislation.

The irregularities were communicated to social security and pensions agency INPS which is expected to suspend the benefit. The operation "Temptation" follows the investigations "Jobless" and "Jobless2" after which Carabinieri police filed charges against 87 people on charges of illicitly getting the basic income. In that case, those under investigation were mostly Italian citizens, including some suspected of being members of the 'Ndrangheta criminal organization.

 

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