A total of 23 people were arrested in Biscay as part of a National Police operation against a forgery conspiracy to obtain Supplemental Housing Allowance (PCV) and Income Guaranteed Income (RGI), regional welfare benefits administered by Lanbid. The ideologue created 62 false names, with the help of which he managed to appropriate more than a million euros, according to Europa Press.
UCRIF Group I agents of the Bilbao Provincial Immigration and Border Guard Brigade conducted an operation against a forgery network to collect public assistance for vulnerable people, which resulted in the arrest of 23 people on suspicion of crimes of a criminal organization, fraud. and false documents. According to a Spanish government delegation, the investigation began when immigration agents learned that a man of Senegalese nationality was using other people to illegally obtain help from the Basque Employment Service (Lanbide). To do this, they used Osakadian’s medical certificates and registrations in various municipalities, also fake.
After investigating, investigators discovered that the “modus operandi” of the ideologue and prime suspect in the scam was to create false identities using other people to collect government assistance for housing rent (PCV) and basic income (RGI) aimed at individuals and families without sufficient resources. At the direction of the ringleader “and in a completely different background,” one of the network members had the task of physically appearing at Lanbide offices with fake passports in order to register a fictitious person impersonating her and carry out the necessary procedures. Meanwhile, others devoted themselves to renting houses and registering prospective people in their homes.
To achieve their goal, they forged passports and registration certificates to prove that the person had been registered in the Basque Country for three years, which is a prerequisite for receiving assistance, and thus created a false identity from the first moment. To prevent Lanbide from discovering any irregularities, the ringleader instructed the members of the criminal network to submit requests for help to various municipalities of Biscay, such as Durango, Santurzi, Berriz, Yurretta, Basauri or Getxo. In addition, in order to prevent the suspension of state assistance due to the applicant’s failure to appear at the offices of the Service, they forged medical reports and certificates of completion of training courses.
Investigators determined that the ringleader created 62 false names. Each registrant contributed an average of €857 per month, €625 to guaranteed income assistance and €250 to Supplemental Housing Allowance (PCV), embezzling €1,091,416. After sufficient evidence was gathered, police officers made a total of 23 arrests in three stages. In the first, held in January, they proceeded to arrest a Cameroonian citizen. During the second, held at the end of March, nine more arrests were made, among which the main person under investigation stands out, and two penetrations and searches in houses.
Investigators found 22 fake passports, 16 passbooks with false identities, 17 credit cards, nine mobile phones, an external hard drive, and various documentation related to Lanbide. During the third action held last Thursday, the remaining 13 arrests were made. Those arrested come from America and Africa. After testifying at the National Police Headquarters in Bilbao, they were released on charges. Judge Ana Torres of Bilbao’s Instructional Court No. 10 presided over the case.
On the other hand, the Basque Employment Service (Lanbide) rescinded the cancellation of supplementary housing allowance (PCV, RGI-related monthly assistance of 275) following a complaint filed with Ararteko by a citizen who considered its revocation unfair. In a statement, the defense explained that the interested party, aged 80 and with a disability of 59%, expressed Ararteco’s disagreement with Lanbide’s decision to annul the allowance after he rejected the proposal for the award of the house by the Municipal Housing Authority. Bilbao (VVMM) “because it is close to the industrial area and far from basic services such as a clinic, supermarket or pharmacy.”
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