Labor official sold permits

A high-ranking Athens Prefecture official and one of his clerks have been arrested on suspicion of running a lucrative side business selling work permits to immigrants, police said on Saturday. The head of the prefecture’s labor department, Alexandros Andriopoulos, and department worker Dimitris Kourkoulis were arrested on Friday and charged on Saturday with forgery, money-laundering and breaches of the law on organized crime. An Egyptian national, whose name was not released, was also arrested. Police said Andriopoulos and Kourkoulis would stay on at work after office hours to process the applications of immigrants who paid a minimum 300 euros to have their work permits expedited. The price allegedly rose significantly in the case of complications such as missing documents, while the ring even sold permits to immigrants who had none of the necessary documents. The two allegedly kept double books, giving their clients – estimated at several hundred – protocol numbers belonging to legitimate applicants.

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