UK's Home Office to Publish Report on Benefit Fraud by EU Migrants

Bulgaria in EU | February 2, 2014, Sunday // 16:17|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

Migrants from the EU have drained Britain's state coffers of millions of pounds through fraud schemes, according to an unpublished Home Office.

The report, which is to be published next week, states that thousands of migrants have attempted to claim British handouts through false welfare claims, sham marriages and organized crime.

According to the dossier, as cited by The Telegraph, the number of tip-offs about suspected sham marriages climbed to 1891 in 2012 from a rate of 934 in 2010.

Sham marriages are cited as a highly favored means of gaining access to Britain fraudulently.

According to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio, a Bulgarian national was sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment for attempting to seal a sham marriage, thereby legalizing the residence of a Pakistani in the UK.

The report also sheds light on fraud through proxy marriages.

As regards organized crime, the document informs of a case in which more than 1000 children were trafficked into Britain by a Romanian gang, which forced them to steal, beg, and commit benefit fraud.

The Metropolitan Police's Operation Golf uncovered a benefit fraud scam worth GBP 2.9 M orchestrated by a Romanian gang.

As regards benefit fraud through fake documents, the report notes that 83% of the 1652 false papers seized at ports and airports by border officials in 2012 were either from the EU or the European Economic Area, up from a rate of 73% of a total of 1770 fraudulent documents detected in 2009.

The report, entitled "Evidence of Fraud and Abuse of Free Movement in the UK", was sent to the European Commission ahead of a meeting in December 2013, where it was discussed by the ministers.

Ministers are now said to be planning a five-year campaign to persuade the EC to take the abuse of the EU's "free movement" migration rights seriously.

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Tags: benefit tourism, welfare system, Home Office, fake documents, European Commission


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