Skip to Content

BAMF headquarters, Google maps

Scandal shakes German refugee authority: Cash for asylum

More than 25 000 asylum cases will have to be re-processed after Germany's Federal Office for Refugees and Migration (BAMF) became mired in a corruption scandal at its regional office in the northern city of Bremen.

Published: May 23, 2018, 7:50 am

    Read more

    Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced an audit after a former official at BAMF’s Bremen branch allegedly accepted cash bribes in exchange for granting asylum. Five more individuals, including three lawyers, an interpreter and an intermediary, are also being investigated.

    The three lawyers allegedly received cash payments from “refugees” across Germany and submitted their asylum applications to the Bremen office.

    At least 1200 refugees who did not meet the necessary criteria, were given refuge in Germany in exchange for cash.

    The corrupt interpreter “translated” asylum interviews so that the answers matched the requirements for a successful asylum application. He allegedly received €500 per asylum seeker.

    One Mohamad A, through the corrupt interpreter, claimed to be a Syrian refugee, whose sister was shot dead by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Two years later it emerged that Mohamad A had been lying not only about his nationality but also his victimhood. His name is actually Milad H and he is from Romania. He has never been to Syria.

    Many migrants who were granted asylum are considered to be potential security risks, according to the news magazine Der Spiegel. They include intelligence operatives, human traffickers and hard-core criminals and jihadists.

    The BAMF [Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge] relies on Muslim translators who deliberately sabotage Christian applicants by mistranslations during their interviews, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, president of the International Society for Human Rights.

    Schirrmacher cited the example of a convert who, when talking about Martin Luther and the Gospel of Matthew, the Muslim interpreter translated it to “Lothar Matthäus”, a well-known German footballer.

    Some 5 800 freelance interpreters — mostly migrants who are not proficient in German — are working for BAMF, according to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. They were also hired without being vetted.

    BAMF director Jutta Cordt

    In May 2018, the public prosecutor of Nuremberg-Fürth opened a preliminary investigation for suspected aiding and abetting the unauthorized stay of migrants against BAMF director Jutta Cordt and three other senior BAMF employees.

    Cordt has meanwhile announced that a team of 70 in-house auditors will reevaluate 18 000 asylum decisions issued since 2000 by its Bremen branch. In addition, BAMF will reexamine another 8 500 decisions made in 2017 by ten other regional offices, Die Welt reported.

    The branches in question submitted a much higher number of asylum applications approved or denied, compared to other offices.

    Leaks of internal BAMF emails published by German daily, Süddeutsche Zeitung showed that Cordt and other senior BAMF officials knew about “suspicious cases” at the Bremen office as early as February 2017, but refused to act and waited until after the German elections held in September 2017. One month after the federal elections, in October 2017, BAMF quietly launched an internal audit.

    Immigration policy was a key issue during the election, launching the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) to become the third-largest party in the Bundestag, the German federal parliament. The corruption scandal would have boosted their votes if it had been known.

    Only after police had raided the homes and offices of the suspects on April 20, 2018, the scandal became public knowledge.

    Following the raid in April, BAMF fired more than 2000 freelance interpreters because they “did not appear to be neutral or were untrustworthy”. Some interpreters were even suspected of being spies for the Turkish government and were terminated for “violating their duty of neutrality”.

    Nine out of ten rejected asylum applications end up in court, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. In more than 40 percent of the cases, judges have overturned BAMF’s negative asylum decisions. In cases where Syrians have applied, judges have sided with 99.9 percent of them.

    Some 328 000 lawsuits were filed in 2017 — twice as many as in 2016. At the end of last year, some 372 000 asylum cases were still pending in German courts.

    It has become so bad that a Civey survey published by Die Welt on May 21 found that 79.7 percent of Germans had “almost no” confidence in BAMF’s asylum decisions. Only 8.9 percent said they had confidence in BAMF.

    The lack of trust in BAMF is shared by voters from all political parties.

     

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Turkish law will allow rapists to marry their victims

    The law “Marry your rapist” will allow the marriage of children with their executioners.

    Salvini’s party narrowly loses in leftwing fief Emilia-Romagna

    BolognaThe ruling leftist coalition partner, the Democratic Party (PD) held onto Emilia-Romagna in regional elections in Italy on Sunday against Matteo Salvini's League party.

    Racist and xenophobic incidents in France rise by 130 percent

    In France, some 1 142 racist and xenophobic incidents were counted in 2019, suggesting an increase of 130 percent.

    Migrant smugglers use Instagram in Turkey

    The social network now makes it possible to connect smugglers and candidates for illegal immigration to Europe.

    After court decision: No place for AfD party conference

    BerlinAfter massive threats from Antifa, the Berlin AfD party conference planned for the coming weekend cannot take place. On Thursday, the Berlin district court announced its decision that the landlord of the Pankow ball room could not be forced to house the AfD despite a valid lease.

    Protests erupt in Greece over migrant saturation

    AthensMass protests against the admission of asylum seekers began on the Greek islands on Wednesday. The motto: "We want our islands back, we want our lives back."

    Nigerians terrorize Italian city

    PaduaThe Nigerian mafia has been busy in the Italian city of Padua. In less than 24 hours there were two violent episodes in the city center, and as always on via Diego Valeri.

    France: 41 percent ‘ignore’ news

    A survey carried out for a newspaper shows a growing distrust of the French towards the media.

    Gang rapes: Number of foreign suspects in Germany increasing

    BerlinThe proportion of foreign suspects in gang rapes in Germany has increased significantly in the past five years. This is despite the fact that the total number of suspects decreased between 2015 and 2017.

    Candidate recruits people of  ‘Turkish origin’ for French municipal elections

    Given the extent of the controversy, Mohamed Dine has now deleted his ad, previously posted on his Facebook page.

    Go to archive