One worker and one former worker at the Ticino migration office allegedly negotiated, with the help of two accomplices, residence permits for Ticino and other cantons for several foreigners who were not entitled to them.
The two 28-year-olds were arrested on Tuesday and are accused of theft, bribery and violating the foreigners and integration law, police in the Italian-speaking canton said on Wednesday.
According to the police, the two helped a 25-year-old illegally procure B permits (initial residence permits). The details of how this happened are subject to an ongoing investigation, but the police said the two pocketed “several thousand francs” for their services.
The 25-year-old accomplice, who previously owned a construction firm in Bellinzona, had been arrested in Kosovo, the police added. He is accused of human trafficking, bribery, falsifying documents and violating the foreigners and integration law. The second accomplice is 27, but no further information was provided.
The investigation was triggered last year following a tip-off from the cantonal security department’s population office.
Norman Gobbi, head of cantonal security, condemned the incident and regretted the employees’ abuse of trust. He pointed out that internal controls had worked efficiently and that in the meantime a “re-organisation” of the migration office had been introduced.