Rio agents ‘bribed’ in im­mi­grant scan­dal

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Immigration agents at Rio de Janeiro’s air­port are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­legedly ac­cept­ing bribes to al­low Chi­nese im­mi­grants into the coun­try il­le­gally, Brazil­ian news­pa­per O Globo re­ported Satur­day.

The Public Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice ini­ti­ated the probe af­ter a man who worked with the Chi­nese for the past 15 years tipped off the Min­istry of La­bor in July.

“Chi­nese fast food res­tau­rant own­ers in Rio — who re­cruit Chi­nese work­ers and main­tain forced-la­bor-like con­di­tions — would spend up to 42,000 reais (US$12,000) for an illegal im­mi­grant’s en­try,” the tip­ster’s re­port said, ac­cord­ing to O Globo.

The wit­ness re­counted one in­ci­dent in which a fast-food res­tau­rant owner who was part of the cor­rup­tion ring ar­rived at the air­port 20 min­utes af­ter the time ar­ranged with immigration of­fi­cials.

Lack­ing pay­ment, the of­fi­cials had al­ready sent the would-be im­mi­grants back to main­land China.

Last week, four Chi­nese work­ers kept in semi-slav­ery con­di­tions were freed from a fast-food res­tau­rant in Rio’s north­ern sub­urbs by the Min­istry of La­bor, Globo re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the wit­ness, the Chi­nese im­mi­grants’ pass­ports are stamped by the immigration work­ers then “lost” to erase the ev­i­dence. The Chi­nese im­mi­grants then re­ceive new pass­ports.

A source from the Public Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice told Globo that “the visas were prob­a­bly fal­si­fied in China and when the im­mi­grants ar­rived in Rio, the immigration depart­ment pre­tended to not no­tice that they were fake and would val­i­date them, af­ter pay­ment of a bribe.”

Fed­eral po­lice re­fused to com­ment on the case, Globo said.

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