On Tuesday, the German government summoned Polish ambassador Dariusz Pawlos to the Interior Ministry in Berlin, demanding an explanation for an alleged scheme in which migrants from Asia and Africa were sold EU visas for a significant amount of money. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also held a meeting with her Polish counterpart to discuss the matter.
According to Polish media outlets, Poland’s Foreign Ministry and consulates have been accused of issuing visas to migrants without conducting proper background checks, as long as bribes were paid to intermediaries. It is estimated that up to 350,000 visas have been issued in this manner since 2021, with each visa costing between $4,000 and $5,000. Poland is a member of the EU’s visa-free Schengen zone, which allows anyone with a Polish visa to freely enter 26 other EU nations.
The extent of the number of migrants who took advantage of this scheme to enter Germany remains unclear. However, to tackle this issue, hundreds of additional border police have been deployed on the German-Polish frontier to scrutinize and identify suspicious travelers.
One report from Poland’s Onet news site revealed that Piotr Wawrzyk, a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, arranged visas for a group of Indians who posed as a Bollywood film crew. These individuals reportedly paid up to $40,000 each for the visas and attempted to enter the US through Mexico. American immigration agents alerted the Polish government when they encountered the group at the US border.
Despite the allegations, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau dismissed the scandal as “fake news,” claiming that irregularities were found in only around 200 documents. However, Wawrzyk was dismissed from his post last month, and eleven other suspects were arrested last week. It was also reported that Wawrzyk attempted to commit suicide and was hospitalized.
The discovery of this scandal has emerged just a month ahead of parliamentary elections in Poland. The ruling PiS party has consistently portrayed itself as being tough on migration. Additionally, the government intends to hold a referendum on immigration and border security, asking citizens whether they support accepting “thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa” as part of an EU relocation plan.
In conclusion, Germany has summoned the Polish ambassador to inquire about the alleged scheme involving the sale of EU visas to migrants from Asia and Africa. The Polish government is facing accusations of issuing visas without proper background checks in exchange for bribes. The extent of the number of migrants who have entered Germany through this scheme remains uncertain. However, the German government has deployed additional border police to monitor suspicious travelers. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has dismissed the scandal as fake news, but the dismissal of a former Deputy Minister and the arrest of other suspects suggest otherwise. This controversy has arisen just ahead of parliamentary elections in Poland, where immigration and border security are significant issues.