Mechelen councillor questioned in investigation into humanitarian visa fraud

A councilor for the Flemish nationalist party N-VA has been taken in for questioning by detectives investigating humanitarian visa fraud. It is alleged that Melikan Kucam who represents the party on Mechelen City Council obtained large sums of money from Iraqi and Syrian Christians as payment for him to help them obtain humanitarian visas to come to Belgium.    

He is alleged to have received sums of up to 10,000 euro, although the precise amount he was given for has not yet been disclosed. The investigation into visa fraud has been on-going for several months.  

A humanitarian visa entitles people that wouldn’t normally be entitled to come and live in Belgium to come here on “humanitarian grounds”. The visas are issued on a case-by-case basis by the Aliens’ Office.

The cost of such a visa is a couple of hundred euro. However, Mr Kucam is alleged to have asked anything between 2,000 and 10,000 euro for one.