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A cash-for visas scandal hits Poland’s strongly anti-migration authorities, weeks earlier than elections

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WARSAW, Poland — WARSAW, Poland (AP) —

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda stated Thursday he was awaiting the outcomes of an investigation into allegations that Polish consulates offered short-term work visas to migrants for hundreds of {dollars}, simply weeks earlier than the strongly anti-migration ruling social gathering seeks re-election for a 3rd time period.

Media studies allege Poland’s consular sections issued some 250,000 visas to migrants from Asia and Africa since 2021 in return for bribes.

Requested in regards to the studies, Duda stated he might “not disclose the main points associated to my data in regards to the suspicions of such practices.”

He stated he was ready for the results of the investigation, including that “based on my data, a minimum of among the data within the media is unfaithful.”

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The deputy international minister answerable for consular issues, Piotr Wawrzyk, was unexpectedly fired final month as the primary studies of the scandal appeared within the media.

Prosecutors and the state Anti-Corruption Workplace stated Thursday that seven individuals — none of them state officers — had been detained on suspicion of corruption within the means of issuing a couple of hundred short-term work visas. They stated the investigation started in July 2022 and was ongoing.

Poland’s principal opposition chief, Donald Tusk, known as it “in all probability the largest scandal in Poland within the twenty first century.”

He requested Poland’s high politicians how lengthy they’d identified about these practices, who within the authorities profited and the place Wawrzyk was now.

Tusk, a former prime minister and EU president, addressed the inquiries to Duda and the ruling Legislation and Justice social gathering chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who’s chief coverage maker. He additionally sought solutions from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the international and inside ministers.

In response to Onet.pl, a information web site, Wawrzyk personally insisted that short-term work visas be issued to teams of individuals from India, who posed as crews working for the Indian film business, popularly generally known as Bollywood.

The allegations might critically hit the conservative ruling social gathering forward of subsequent month’s parliamentary elections. Legislation and Justice, which has put opposition to migration on the heart of its insurance policies, needs to win an unprecedented third time period in energy within the Oct. 15 vote.

Opinion polls recommend the social gathering will win most votes, however in all probability not sufficient to manipulate single-handedly or with its present allies.

Poland’s populist authorities has repeatedly refused to confess migrants inside an EU burden-sharing program. It spent about 1.6 billion zlotys ($380,000) final 12 months on a large wall alongside the border with Belarus, meant to dam the influx of Center East and African migrants. Reviews say the influx was diminished however not absolutely stopped.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Poland opened its border to hundreds of thousands of refugees, providing them lodging and jobs. Some 1.3 million Ukrainians — largely ladies and kids — are registered as residing in neighboring Poland.


Comply with AP’s protection of worldwide migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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