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The black market of dating spans the Administration


The difficulties in carrying out procedures and the inaction of public bodies in the face of fraud drive a business worth thousands of euros

Dealing with the Administration has become a business.

Prior appointments have been marketed for years, but the inaction of public bodies has allowed fraud to spread to more than a dozen procedures, from collecting the foreigner's card to renewing the driver's license.

Without enough openings to serve all those who require it, the dating black market has thousands of citizens as potential clients.

The business is unleashed with the procedures related to Immigration, but also with Social Security.

Getting an official to receive you to review the pension costs 50 euros, making an appointment to request asylum reaches 200 euros.

It's a half clandestine business:

the Administration knows perfectly well that it exists and anyone has access to the intermediaries through WhatsApp or Wallapop.

In addition to those who take advantage of the failures of the system to profit, there are not too many who, in addition, defraud those most in need.

“They are mafias that have realized that if they are looking for appointments all the time and they take them, then they will get a very high economic return because people are desperate,” warns Irene Ramírez, a lawyer specializing in Immigration.

Although it is no longer exclusive to them, those who have been dealing with intermediaries who sell appointments illegally for the longest years are foreigners.

In Spain there are 5.5 million citizens of countries outside the EU, according to the INE, and all of them need procedures and appointments on a recurring basis to keep their papers in order.

The system has been corrupted for a long time, the Administration knows it, but it does not offer enough appointments to make the business of the mafias unnecessary, nor has it imposed firewalls in a general way that prevent the appearance of a black market.

Prices are now skyrocketing, especially in provinces like Madrid and Barcelona, ​​where there are more requests.

In general, there is a lack of resources to meet the growing demand, but there are periods in which the situation worsens.

A couple of years ago, for example, it was the pandemic, and now, the war in Ukraine.

The express processing of the documents of almost 170,000 refugees has been a milestone of which Spain is proud, but at the same time it has meant dedicating police from the Immigration Brigades exclusively to this procedure and relegating others.

Telephone conversations with sellers of appointments to carry out procedures with the Administration. Design team EL PAÍS

The most precious appointment is for those who want to request asylum in Spain.

In Madrid, for example, some 4,000 appointments are offered a month to do so, but they are not enough and they are sold like hotcakes for 200 euros.

Anyelina, a 30-year-old Colombian, is willing to pay them so that her brother can obtain the precious date.

A year ago she also had to pay, although the cost did not exceed 60 euros.

“Normally, almost all of us arrive out of place and for us time is precious”, she explains.

“I spent the day on the page trying to get an appointment and it was impossible.

I finally paid."

Anyelina is annoyed to pay that money for a procedure that is free, but this step is so important to be able to work or to open a bank account that there are not many other options.

Anyelina is angry, she considers it an abuse.

“I have to work 12 hours, without being able to sleep, taking care of a lady to earn 50 euros… And these assholes take three minutes to make an appointment and they charge 200 euros.

I don't know how they do it, but they are a mafia.

Do you believe that silver rains from the sky?

And Anyelina's fight with the Administration does not end there.

Her boyfriend, who needs to exchange his driving license at the DGT, does not get an appointment either.

He has already invested 80 euros in buying at the Traffic office.

"In a year, the only appointment I've gotten without paying has been to register," he claims.


modus operandi

has been adapted in recent years, but, in essence, it is the same.

Shift buyers ask for the foreigner's identification number, full name, nationality, an email and the province in which they want to carry out the procedure.

When the website releases prior appointments, there is already an army of managers, lawyers, phone booths and profiteers in general willing to monopolize the largest possible number of shifts that have already been previously commissioned.

The appointment is paid once it is confirmed, in person, by transfer, by bank deposit or by Bizum.

"100% guaranteed", "if they recommend me it's for something", "the faster you pass me the data, the faster I get to it", encourages an intermediary in response to the doubts raised by EL PAÍS.

In the case of Social Security, the


is somewhat different and is more like outsourcing.

Here the sellers offer to spend the necessary time in front of the computer, continually refreshing the pages in which the appointments are published in exchange for money.

The prices are also somewhat lower: between 15 and 50 euros.

A quick search on the official website shows that the citations are scarce, but that they do exist.

However, they are not always located in the offices closest to the plaintiff's home.

Something that is a relief and a problem at the same time.

“With the

single district formula

that has been implemented in Madrid —which allows an appointment to be made at any office in the province—, the possibilities for a person to find an available space are extended”, explains a source from the department headed by José Luis Escrivá.

Social Security registered 670,000 requests for prior appointments in the first days of March, of which 1.12% were requested through automated software (robot), the only fraudulent modality that has been tracked.

"Measures are being taken to try to avoid them or reduce them to a minimum, which is why they are subject to treatment and analysis by the Social Security security teams," says a ministerial source.

Despite this reality, "the possibility of resale is very small and its impact is certainly limited," he defends.

control and organization

During the pandemic, employment offices collapsed with the processing of Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE).

They were not prepared to work remotely, and before the closure of the premises due to the coronavirus, there was no prior appointment system.

"Now, in general, the appointment system works adequately throughout Spain today," says a source from the Ministry of Labor, on which SEPE depends.

In addition, it ensures that the allocation of appointments has been centralized "which allows better control and organization", and that the "pre-application - a mechanism with which you can request any benefit and subsidy and even carry out any procedure without having to go to the office—, relieves the previous appointment, especially at specific moments of peak demand”.

However, in the opinion of Manuel Galdeano,

the lack of public personnel continues to be a problem to deal with “a greater workload”.

In his annual report, the Ombudsman points out the "high number of complaints" due to the difficulty in obtaining an appointment in most provinces.

The prior appointment system was already being used in the Tax Agency, and that has allowed it to become waterproof before the appearance of this alternative market.

"What we have done is try to clean up the interface of the appointment service on the website as much as possible in order to offer a faster service that requires fewer steps and is more responsive," says a source from the Agency.

In fact, in the body that depends on the Ministry of Finance, they have no record of a parallel


in which these shifts are offered.

The lack of dating and the black market that has been created as a result also encourages deception, beyond fraud.

Kevin Tafur, another 30-year-old Colombian, fled his country in August of last year.

After a month trying to make an appointment without result, he ended up paying 180 euros to request asylum in Madrid.

“The man I contacted wrote to me three weeks later, told me that he already had it and sent me a screenshot.

I sent him the money and on the day of the appointment I went to the police station, but my name was nowhere to be found.

When I went to look at our chat, the capture was no longer there, nor were our messages and his number was not operational.

He had cheated on me.

I thought it was stupid, but I was going through a tough situation, I was working for days, I had nowhere to stay, my head was collapsed… ”.

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Source: elparis

All business articles on 2023-03-20

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