Charges have been brough against seven people in Poland by a prosecutor for allegedly being involved in a scheme that accelerated work visas to Poland for third-country citizens in exchange for bribes.
The scandal surfaced days ago, and comes ahead of the national elections set to be held on October 15, the focus of which has been migration, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Daniel Lerman, deputy director of the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office, three people have been arrested so far regarding the allegations.
Thanks to the efficient operation of the (security) services, the prosecutor…brought charges against seven people in this proceeding… Three people are under temporary arrest.
He, however, refused to tell Reuters whether Former Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk was one of those accused.
The country’s opposition has accused Deputy Minister Wawrzyk for playing a central role in the selling of work visas, after the same was fired on August 31, following a search of the foreign Ministry by the Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA).
While the Ministry claims that dismissal was due to “a lack of satisfactory cooperation” the country’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed on Monday that Wawrzyk’s dismissal was related to the investigation of CBA.
In the next few days, the Polish Supreme Audit Office will be conducting a further ad hoc audit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the scandal. Its president, Marian Banaś, has said that this might be one of the largest scandals in the history of the country, in a statement on former Twitter, now X platform.
I’m very curious to see what exactly this inspection will reveal. Taking into account today’s information provided by the media, we may be witnessing one of the largest scandals in the recent history of Poland.
Media reports claim that since 2021, through this system Poland’s consular sections have issued around 250,000 visas to migrants from Asia and Africa, in countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Philippines, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
In the past three years, the course of three years, Poland has issued nearly two million visas to new workers from outside the EU, more than any other Member State. In 2020 alone, Poland granted 600,000 work visas to non-EU citizens, a significant share of the 2.2 million visas granted in all EU countries, while Germany granted only over 18,000, Czech Republic – 41,000, and Italy – 50,000
Polish media claim that the management of the Ministry of Diplomacy has been aware of the system for a very long time now.
>> Polish Government Criticised Over Allegations of Having Issued Numerous Temporary Work Visas in Return for Bribes