Fraudsters from east caught red-handed

Published on 21 April 2011 at 10:13

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According to De Standaard, “the crackdown on fraud by eastern Europeans is bearing fruit.” Each month about 250 eastern Europeans, particularly Romanians, Poles and Bulgarians, are registering as “independent workers” with Belgium’s National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed (NISSE). The status of independent worker gives them the right to stay in Belgium for more than three months. More importantly, according to the newspaper, it gives them the right to welfare. Since 1 October 2010, however, NISSE has been checking up on whether the registrants are actually active as independent workers. The check-ups “seem to be working”, the newspaper reports, as two-thirds of those registering have been revealed to be fraudsters. “They lost their residence permits and were ordered by the Immigration Office to leave the country,” the newspaper adds.

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