Bremen migration office scandal much smaller than first thought | News | DW | 26.08.2018

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Bremen migration office scandal much smaller than first thought

The Bremen refugee office was accused of illegally approving 1,200 asylum applications, triggering a nationwide scandal. But it now seems the situation was vastly overstated.

A scandal over suspected fraud at the Bremen branch of Germany's Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF) was not nearly as large as initially assumed, according to a media report.

Out of 18,315 asylum decisions made by the Bremen BAMF office since 2000, in only 165 cases did migration officials "seriously violate guidelines," according to Bild am Sonntag.

Read moreGermany's BAMF migration office warns against fake employees

An example of violating rules is failing to conduct a security background check. 

The newspaper cited a previously confidential final report of the BAMF investigation into the Bremen office.

DW reported in June that the BAMF scandal was not nearly as far-reaching as previously thought and involved mostly procedural mistakes rather than wrong asylum decisions and alleged corruption.

The Bremen BAMF office came under heat in April when it was alleged that more than 1,200 asylum applications had been illegally approved between 2013 and 2016.

The former head of the Bremen BAMF is under investigation although she denies any wrongdoing.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer used the scandal to push for major changes at BAMF and tougher asylum laws. He sacked the then BAMF chief, Jutta Cordt, in May over the scandal.

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