A member of the Tangier City Council has been arrested by the Moroccan police for being involved in the selling of Schengen visas to citizens of the country.
As the Moroccan authorities have revealed, the city’s council member has been sentenced to one year in prison and has been fined around €91 (1,000 dirhams) for selling Schengen visas obtained illegally at the Spanish Consulate General in Tangier.
Apart from the council member, another person participating in the scheme has also been sentenced. The police sentenced the second person involved in the matter to ten months in prison.
According to local media, Tangier’s member of the council sold Spain Schengen visas in exchange for money. One of the Moroccan citizens who fell prey to the well-planned fraud said that they paid €15,000 for the councillor to apply on their behalf for the visa.
Several others have also reported similar cases, with them saying that they were promised a residence permit and a work contract in Spain and instead received a Schengen visa permitting them to stay in Spain for a maximum period of 90 days.
As it has been disclosed, the city’s member of the council would require those interested in obtaining a Schengen visa illegally to sign fake work contracts.
In addition to the member of the council, two Spanish consulate employees are also being investigated for being involved in the illegal issuing of Schengen visas to Moroccans. It is believed that these two helped the councillor to obtain visas on behalf of other people in exchange for money.
The Moroccan police disclosed that the intermediaries forged all types of documents, including bank statements and work contracts.
Regarding the employees at the Spanish Consulate General in Tangier, the police revealed that they facilitated the issuance of visas once they received the forged documents from the intermediaries they worked together with.
Even though the Moroccan authorities have already sentenced two people, they did not reveal how many forged visas have been issued to citizens of the country. Nonetheless, it is believed that the number is considerable.
Currently, all Moroccan citizens are required to obtain a Schengen visa to be able to enter the Schengen Area.
Data provided by Schengen Visa Statistics show that Moroccans filed 423,201 visa applications in 2022, with Spain having the highest number of applications.