STT detains examiners assessing foreigners' knowledge of Lithuania in corruption case
Officers from Lithuania's Special Investigation Service (STT) on Tuesday detained in Vilnius District three members of a special commission assessing foreigners' knowledge of the Lithuanian language and Constitution and six private persons in a suspected corruption case.
The commission members are suspected to have created conditions for foreigners to get resident permits in Lithuania.
Sources told BNS Lithuania that Aušra Mažonienė, director of Pagiriai Gymnasium in Vilnius District, was among the suspects. She chairs the special commission assessing foreigners' knowledge.
She and the other two commission members are suspected of having created conditions for foreigners' to legalize their presence in Lithuania.
Over 20 searches have been carried out as part of this investigation. The suspects are currently in custody.
It is suspected that foreign citizens paid bribes to pass the Lithuanian language and constitutional knowledge exam to eventually be granted resident permits from the Migration Department.
According to the STT, quite a number of third country citizens are trying to illicitly enter the European Union via Lithuania, legalize their presence and then freely travel the Schengen zone.
According to the STT, this is not the first such case. In 2014, 11 people were charged with influence peddling related to the issuance of temporary resident permits to foreigners. The suspects included four former executives of the Migration Department, two lawyers, two lawyers' assistants and one businessman.