German cops staged a big 'round-up' yesterday and it's a pretty strange criminal proceeding that is underway. ARD (public German TV, Channel One) covered the story.
Altogether, about a thousand German and Czech cops were sent out to smash some kind of 'mafia' operation that built to cover fake marriages and moonlighting jobs.
At the conclusion....some folks were arrested. Various sources differ on the number....some say a dozen....some claim up to fifty or sixty people.
What appears to have gone on....is some mafia group figured out a way of resourcing residence permits, with the smuggler crowd providing people with cash, and finding the right Czech, Romanian or Bulgarian women to marry. I don't get the impression that this led to German women in the middle.
The mafia linchpin region? Apparently here in the Rhine-Main area.
The amount paid for the fake marriage? It appears that this was getting up into the five-digit range. Cops even speculate that several hundred fake marriages were the product out of this.
Added to this was the accusation of illegal employees hired for construction jobs. At some point, the cops even suggest that six million euros were not paid on social security requirements.
What happens now? Basically a regroup. Another mafia group will survey what went wrong....identify the repair, and proceed on. In a year....some reports will come up over new fake marriages and it'll require another massive investigation.
My suggestion....to dump both the smuggler and mafia out of the situation....set up a one-year visa that you pay a significant amount of money into (the same that the smuggler and mafia would have taken) to have a legit one-year visa. Want to renew it for the 2nd year....no crimes, and half of the amount that you paid before. Repeat for year three, and if the guy has been a hard worker and no crime angle....then make it a free visa by the fourth year.