Because she is said to have kept fees for the naturalization of foreigners for herself, the public prosecutor’s office is investigating a former employee of the Osnabrück district. The suspicion is of infidelity and taking advantage, said a spokesman for the Osnabrück public prosecutor’s office. The investigations have not yet been completed. A possible motive for the woman was personal financial difficulties. The “Spiegel” reported first.

According to a spokesman for the district, this is an amount of more than 41,000 euros, which the authority’s audit office has so far found to be a shortfall when checking receipts and the case files processed by the employee. The immigration officer was fired and reported to the public prosecutor. The woman sued against the termination.

Fees had to be paid in cash

According to research by “Spiegel”, the clerk is said to have asked the applicants through an intermediary to pay the fees due for naturalization in cash because the EC reader was allegedly defective. The district spokesman confirmed that there was evidence of this.

The woman is also said to have failed to complete the security checks necessary for naturalization. This includes, among other things, inquiries from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution or requests for information from the Federal Central Register on possible convictions. According to the district, more than 300 cases were noticed in the period from January 2022 to July 2023 in which the cases were not processed properly.

No illegal naturalizations

The district subsequently carried out the necessary inquiries with all security authorities. In no case was there any evidence of illegal naturalization, it said. The revocation of naturalizations is linked to high requirements. “Therefore, as things currently stand, there is no need to revoke naturalizations,” said the district spokesman.

It was said that the clerk was quite quick during the naturalization process. As a rule, the naturalization process takes several months. The proceedings in the accused’s case sometimes only lasted a few weeks or months.

Probably just the one who collects the fees

It is not yet clear whether the woman should actually be accused of taking advantage, said the spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office. According to the current state of the investigation, she did not undertake the naturalization in return for a specific consideration from which she herself directly benefited. She only collected the fees that were due for naturalization. According to the current status, this speaks against taking advantage and bribery. The spokesman said that the public prosecutor’s office did not examine whether the naturalizations were in order under administrative law.