Politics

Migrant Crisis Brings Massive Welfare Fraud to Europe

Refugees may be defrauding Germany as much as 80 million euros in benefits

Asylum seekers are costing Germany millions in welfare fraud, according to a new report by German public radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR).

The report identified over 300 cases of possible welfare fraud — in which individuals applied for and received benefits multiple times — filed with police in the German region of Brunswick alone.

Migrants could be costing Germany anywhere between 48 million and 80 million Euros in benefits fraud.

The cost to taxpayers in just the state of Lower Saxony is estimated to be anywhere from 3 to 5 million euros, NDR reported. “They have registered several times, sometimes with the same employees,” Jörn Memenga, head of the Brunswick Special Commission Central Investigations, told NDR.

Because of Germany’s Asylum Seekers Act, every asylum seeker is guaranteed roughly 350 Euros per month.

Each identified fraudster had multiple false identities, according to Memenga, who said the average migrant fraudster cost German taxpayers anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 Euros. “Our most extreme case had twelve alias-personalities, damage: 45,000 euros, at least,” said Memenga.

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According to NDR’s report, the fraud was easily committed because local authorities, dealing with millions of migrants courtesy of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy, were less concerned with confirming identities and preventing fraud than they were with preventing a humanitarian crisis in their own backyard. Roughly 100 similar cases of migrant welfare fraud were also recorded in Osnabrück — also in Lower Saxony — in 2016, the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported Wednesday.

There are sixteen German federal states. If benefits fraud by asylum seekers is as widespread in the other German states as it is in Lower Saxony, it would suggest that migrants could be costing Germany anywhere between 48 million and 80 million Euros in benefits fraud.

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Concerns of welfare fraud have also been raised in the United Kingdom regarding “child” migrants entering the country from the migrant camp in Calais, France.

“It is absolutely vital we are given assurances they have all been assessed as being under 18 because, quite frankly, it appeared from photographs some were not,” Conservative MP David Davies said on Tuesday night.

According to the Daily Express newspaper, figures from 50 local councils in England revealed that social workers have performed 2,028 age tests on child asylum seekers since 2013. Nearly one in four of those tested — 465 — was discovered to have been an adult.

“Figures show the average cost of looking after an asylum-seeker aged under 16 is £41,610 a year or £33,215 if they are aged 16 and 17,” reported the Express, which would suggest that those 465 fraudsters may have cost taxpayers in those 50 counties well over 15 million pounds.

There are hundreds of counties in the United Kingdom, meaning the true cost to the U.K. of adult migrants pretending to be child asylum seekers could be far, far higher.

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