German Politicians Fingered In Chinese "Cash For Permits" Corruption Scandal

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024 - 03:00 AM

By Thomas Brooke, of

The main suspect in an ongoing fraud investigation in Germany has incriminated several local politicians from the mainstream parties in the town of Düren, accusing key players in the district administration of taking bribes to approve bogus residence permits for wealthy Chinese nationals.

Claus B., a lawyer suspected of leading a criminal enterprise that advertised its services to foreign nationals and registered fake companies in Germany to assist with work permits, says local politicians were complicit in the scheme and received incentives to look the other way.

Former CDU district administrator Werner Stump was accused of having knowledge of the racket and has maintained a long-running relationship with Claus B., hosting his law firm’s parties at a hotel he runs and meeting regularly with the suspect to discuss real estate deals. Stump has denied violating any laws relating to the granting of residence permits and insists he has done everything necessary to cooperate with the investigating authorities.

Another politician, Jens Bröker, a former SPD district administrator candidate who is now the department head for change and development in the Düren district, has been accused of being a major partner in the scheme, allegedly receiving up to €300,000 to use his influence and ensure the smooth approval of residence permit applications when landing on his desk.

Bröker is also in custody and has been dismissed from his posts. His defense attorney did not respond to requests for comment by German media.

Other politicians named in the scandal include former head of the immigration department and current treasurer Dirk Hürtgen (CDU) and his successor Sybille Haußmann (Greens) who allegedly facilitated the permit approvals, and District Administrator Wolfgang Spelthahn (CDU), president of the local football team FC Düren, which received substantial sponsorship and funding from companies owned by Claus B.

Spelthahn has denied that he “received any monetary payments or other benefits” and insists the sponsorship contracts with FC Düren were “documented transparently, properly taxed and processed and supported by the entire board,” according to news outlet Junge Freiheit.

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