Culture-Enrichers Buy Roma Brides to Get Into Europe

The video below from Bulgarian TV features an investigative report by Gahlya Shturbeva into fictitious marriages between migrants and Roma women from Bulgaria.

The men at the head of the trafficking operation are Greeks. Those who have contact with the migrants and therefore get paid by them are Greek citizens. The Bulgarian man who speaks with the journalist just finds the women and shares the money he gets with them. The actual price is presumably higher than €5,000.

The criminal middleman seems to believe that since the fraud is being committed in Greece, it’s safe to let journalists know about it, because nobody will look for him.

Many thanks to Tanya T. for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


0:09   It turned out that this was the newest and easiest way for a refugee
0:12   to sneak into Europe through the back door.
0:15   How much does a professional bride cost, and how do refugees come to us as bridegrooms? Watch:
0:23   How much does the fictitious marriage cost? — €4,000 to €5,000. [I tell him €5,000.]
0:28   How much do you want? — €5,000, right?
0:34   Do they know the men they’ve married? — They know nobody.
0:37   When they were told they would get 2-3,000 levs (€1,000-1500), and…
0:40   they agreed to do it. That’s all. —He gave her 500 levs, we’ve taken no other money.
0:43   If I arrange just three marriages this month, I can easily make €10,000.
0:48   In these weddings there are no brides and bridegrooms. There is, however,
0:52   a middleman, and someone with connections in the municipality.
0:56   In the Greek scheme the middleman is Bulgarian, 42 years old. He’s known in our country and Greece
1:00   for selling babies, trafficking women (for prostitution) and refugees.
1:04   Right now he’s part of the hottest international scheme — Bulgarian Roma get married to refugees,
1:08   so that they can pass through Europe undisturbed .
1:11   We meet him just before he strikes his latest deal.
1:14   Where do most “Bulgarians” come from? From the Pleven region. Pleven, Lukovit, Ugarchin…
1:20   How does the scheme work? The Roma comes here (to Greece),
1:24   she brings documents about her marital status, medical certificate, it gets translated into Greek,
1:29   and from there we go to someone who has access to the municipality, notary,
1:33   or whoever makes the fictitious marriage, and that’s all.
1:37   [Doesn’t seem to know clearly, deals with the women and their documents, not with Greek documents.]
1:41   The woman doesn’t even see the man.
1:45   Why is this done in Greece?
1:48   Because it’s easier to do it here. It’s easier with the documents. The marriage itself is easier.
1:52   I will now go to a girl, who has agreed to contract such a marriage
1:55   … (not clear)… all her documents […] ready [his speech is unclear]
1:59   I want to go see which of her documents are ready.
2:02   In minutes he has an appointment with his latest client, Veska,
2:05   33 years old, from a Pleven [region] village.
2:08   I tell him five. — €5 000, is that right? — Yes.
2:15   Ah! That’s exactly what I needed — marital status.
2:18   I am not a citizen, I am not…
2:21   But we need to translate this into Greek. But if we are going to do this, I want this money.
2:28   How much of this money goes to the bride? Usually the woman gets
2:32   2,500-3,000, 3,500 [Levs? Or €?], it depends on how you settle it between you.
2:36   And how much for the expenses?
2:39   There are almost no expenses.
2:42   €80 for translating the documents, and getting
2:46   a marital status document, which is free in Bulgaria.
2:49   Where do the foreigners mainly come from? What is their origin?
2:53   Most are Afghans, Syrians, Pakistanis…
2:56   Aren’t they afraid their husbands may turn out to be terrorists?
3:00   No, that doesn’t concern her. She knows what to do afterwards. She immediately goes
3:03   to file a divorce application, waits five to six years and gets a divorce automatically.
3:06   The next one in the scheme is a mayor of a Greek village who gives a marital certificate
3:10   in the municipality without even having seen the newlyweds.
3:13   His son is a mayor of the village, and he and his brother arrange such marriages.
3:24   That is, they make out the documents without either the bride or the groom present. Is this right?
3:27   —Yes, yes. Yes. [unintelligible]
3:31   I have a girl ready for marriage, with all documents.
3:35   I’ll talk to my brother to ask what the offer is.
3:40   I need five to six women.
3:43   For how much money? — €5000.
3:47   He told me he needed five or six women. So he has five to six men ready to get married.
3:54   Those five or six clients that are to marry our “Bulgarians”, what are they? Did he tell you?
3:57   Afghans and Syrians. This service is sought mostly by immigrants who want to make their way
4:02   to Western countries, and in exchange for €5,000 get a status much higher than that of a refugee.
4:08   The so-called sham marriage isn’t illegal… Who can prove whether it was a sham marriage,
4:12   or marriage for love? —Mariyana Marinova, Deputy Director of Migration: We have the obligation to
4:17   interview these families, so that we can determine that this marriage is real.
4:21   In case they say they met on the internet, in what language did they speak to each other…
4:27   In other words, if anyone checks, they can always say they married for love…
4:31   Yes. That’s our role, to prove each time that this marriage
4:35   was not contracted so as to circumvent the law.
4:43   The wannabe brides in this international scheme are mostly from Lovech, Pleven and Yambol regions.
4:47   The wannabe bridegrooms are Pakistanis, Syrians and Afghans.
4:51   There is talk of hundreds of fictitious marriages, but it’s difficult to get statistics on this.
4:55   Mariya Dinova, Deputy Mayor of Ugarchin: I have no information about such things happening,
4:59   I’ve never heard such rumors, it’s a small town, it could not have remained hidden from me…
5:07   We only had to make one tour of the Roma ghetto in Lukovit (Lovech region)
5:11   to come across Petya. She married a foreigner whom she had met just once.
5:15   She made a marriage with that one who speaks another language.
5:19   We still cannot find him to give her a divorce.
5:22   She can go neither to the public employment office, nor to the hospital. That’s it.
5:26   She cannot get welfare benefits either? —No, no. No, she doesn’t get anything.
5:29   Have you seen the man? —Yes. —What’s his nationality?
5:33   He is from Germany. He speaks German. I don’t understand German.
5:37   (pointing to the left, possibly to some neighbors who arranged the marriage): They speak German.
5:40   And they promised you that when you get married they will pay you? —Yes. Yes.
5:43   And what happened? —Nothing. He didn’t give me anything.
5:47   Do you want to get divorced? Of course! I want to get money!
5:52   What do they tell you in the municipality? Nothing. That I have a marriage. He must come.
5:58   In Sofia he made this marriage. In Sofia. We have a man who brings us there. He didn’t do anything
6:02   (wrong to us), he gave us the money, gave it to the girl…
6:06   I let her do it, it’s my fault … and those who came here, that man is from our quarter,
6:10   gave her 500 Levs (€250); we’ve taken no other money.
6:14   How many girls have you heard about who have gotten married for money?
6:18   Many. There are many in our quarter. I don’t know how many, but many.
6:21   Do they know the men they’ve married? —They know nobody. When they heard that
6:25   they would get two to three thousand Levs (€1,000-€1,500), they agreed. That’s all.
6:29   Were they given money? —I can tell you nothing. We heard about all this, but I haven’t seen money.
6:34   Do you know that if something happens to you he may inherit your property?
6:39   Yes, I know. In reality, this is the greatest risk in this deal, isn’t it? —Yes.
6:44   If you, for example, marry an Afghan, or me… and tomorrow, god forbid, you die,
6:51   and I inherit your possessions… Without our knowing each other. —Without knowing you, yes.
6:56   But they run this risk. —Most Roma women have no property. Some do, but don’t realize it.
7:01   At the time they do it they don’t think about that.
7:07   During last year almost 3,200 foreigners have been given the right to live in Bulgaria
7:11   after marrying Bulgarian citizens. Most of them come from third-world countries.
7:14   Eleven people were refused and their marriages were not recognized.
7:17   They don’t want to give themselves away. They hide it.
7:20   This must not be hidden. We don’t know what we should do now.
7:24   Whom we should address, so that we could make this man come.
7:27   Should they make him come here, in Bulgaria, to grant the divorce, or somewhere else…
7:34   Boyko Borisov (the Prime Minister) should do his job properly…
7:37   Yes, such… Well, this depends on him! Such (men) he should
7:40   send them to prison, to prison, and that’s it.

3 thoughts on “Culture-Enrichers Buy Roma Brides to Get Into Europe

  1. Is there even a way to comment on this video without sounding like a blood thirsty racist, foaming at the mouth.

    • I would rather recommend to kick out of the country the happy couple and both sides of their families!

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