Law enforcement authorities in the Greek capital have arrested 24 people so far in an ongoing operation to crack down on a racket that provided women from the former Eastern bloc with European work and residence permits through sham marriages.
According to police sources, at least two civil servants, two notaries, two lawyers and a police officer are among those who have been detained in connection with the scheme.
The same sources said investigators have also found evidence pointing to around 200 false paternity claims and at least two illegal adoptions. The racket is believed to have operated for at least five years, according to one officer who referred to “a big and complex case that will take time to tackle.”
One trick the fraudsters are believed to have used was to pay homeless people or drug addicts to use their personal details for bogus civil partnerships.