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2012.11.14 09:36

Investigation launched against alleged corruption within the Migration Department

Jorge Marcano | The Lithuania Tribune2012.11.14 09:36

Almantas Gavenas, director of Lithuania’s Migration Department declared to media that he does not possess information about a corruption scheme allegedly taking place in the institution. According to BNS, Gavenas said that “I know nothing except what I see in the SIS press release that suspicions related to alleged corruption have been brought. I am reading: detained and brought corruption suspicions against officials of the Migration Department,” stated the migration high-ranking official.

Almantas Gavenas, director of Lithuania’s Migration Department declared to media that he does not possess information about a corruption scheme allegedly taking place in the institution. According to BNS, Gavenas said that “I know nothing except what I see in the SIS press release that suspicions related to alleged corruption have been brought. I am reading: detained and brought corruption suspicions against officials of the Migration Department,” stated the migration high-ranking official.

Waiting for the investigation to be completed and upholding the honourable principle of presumption of innocence, Mr. Gavenas said, “I know nothing more that what is said in the SIS statement. I am following the presumption of innocence. The time will show,” remarked Gavenas.

Lithuania’s Special Investigation Service and prosecutors announced today that 7 officials from the Migration Department, suspected of allegedly profiting illegally from Lithuanian residence permit had been detained and corruption charges had been brought against them. Furthermore, according to the SIS, 5 of the detainees are holding executive positions. Suspicions also are extended and charges could be filed against 2 lawyers, 2 assistant lawyers and 2 natural persons.

The SIS statement reads, “the investigation centres around an alleged criminal scheme when non-EU citizens who wanted to receive a permit to live in the Republic of Lithuania or wanted to extend such permit would pay money to lawyers and assistant lawyers who would act as intermediaries. The SIS has information that the officials from the Migration Department who were involved in this scheme would also remunerate each other financially,” the statement explained.

A pre-trial investigation has been launched which will evaluate amongst other factors, corruption, trade in influence, bribery, misuse of official position and document forgery. Minister of Interior, Arturas Melianas expressed to BNS that he was not informed about such incident and could not provide any comments pertaining the investigation.

According to the SIS statement, foreigners use fraudulent enterprises, and in rarer cases, sham marriages as a legal basis for obtaining the permit. Another way that is being investigated is the purchase of real estate in Lithuanian soil. Investigations will continue.

Lithuania Tribune