Two legal advisors convicted for falsifying documents to obtain residency papers

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 22-05-2024
  • Lanzarote
  • Photo Credit: Gobcan
Two legal advisors convicted for falsifying documents to obtain residency papers

Two legal advisors at a consultancy company (Asesoria) in Lanzarote have been convicted after admitting that they fraudulently raised employment contracts and made social security registrations for foreign nationals illegally living on the island, to get them residency in Spain under exceptional circumstances (arraigo) in exchange for 200 euros.

The conviction, handed down by the courts in Arrecife, is the result of “Operation Home”, a large-scale investigation conducted jointly by the National Police, Work Inspectors, and the Department of Social Security in Las Palmas, which led to the arrest of 55 people, including the two now-convicted consultants.

María Higinia Suárez Díaz and her brother Carlos Gabriel have been sentenced to one year and nine months in prison and fined 2,166 euros each for continuous forgery of official documents and crimes against the rights of foreign citizens.

According to the ruling, they ran a consultancy business on Calle Portugal in Arrecife between December 2018 and April 2020. However, motivated by financial gain, and fully aware of the necessary procedures, they submitted fraudulent contracts for people in exchange for 200 euros, which covered document preparation, work contract, and social security registration fees.

Authorities have so far found 22 people, of various nationalities, that they “advised” and submitted paperwork for, who were all in an “irregular situation” and couldn’t stay in Lanzarote, or any other part of Spain, without the correct paperwork.

According to the court report, the accused used official forms to create employment contracts following a consistent pattern: two Moroccan employers, often with insufficient economic means to support themselves and sometimes relatives of the employees, would hire another Moroccan as a domestic worker.

Spanish immigration law requires a full-time contract to apply for residency under exceptional circumstances. Since the employers lacked the necessary income, each employee was provided with two part-time contracts, each lasting one year, with different employers.

The 22 foreigners who illegally obtained residency permits through the accused were also arrested during Operation Home and are subjects of 22 judicial proceedings, with five convictions already handed down.

The extensive police operation resulted in the detention of 55 people, including the consultancy's staff, 197 visits by Work Inspectors and the Department of Social Security, 54 infringement notices for “simulated employment”, and the annulment of 75 Social Security registrations.