The theft of official documents used in the migrant legalisation process is a phenomenon that has taken on shocking dimensions, according to figures forwarded to Parliament on Tuesday by the government. Most of the documents have been stolen from immigration offices in regional authorities or municipalities.
The relevant figures were presented in response to a tabled question by opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) MPs Thanassis Plevris and Adonis Georgiadis, who charged that based on available information the theft of such documents were on the rise in 2010.
Deputy Interior Minister Theodora Tzakri said roughly 70,000 official documents used in the migrant legalisation process have been stolen since Jan. 1, 2006, when Law No. 3386/05 on “the entry, residence and social integration of third country nationals in Greece” was put into effect.
The deputy minister underlined that in the majority of the cases, local mayors are reluctant to proceed with disciplinary action and avoid ordering a special inquiry into the circumstances under which the documents disappeared. As a result no investigation on possible wrongdoing on behalf of local government employees is feasible, the deputy minister stressed.
Referring to the year 2010, in particular, Tzakri stressed that a large number of official documents were stolen from the Attiki Prefecture Regional Authority Immigration Office and from South Evros Immigration Office.
However, Tzakri stressed that despite the large number of documents stolen only a fraction of them have been used, thanks to the effectiveness of the “police on line” system that can identify any falsified official documents used at the country’s entry gates.