"My asylum application had been rejected and I was afraid that they would expel me back to Iran. But then I heard that there are people who can help you get asylum. They helped me to buy a blog that had been critical of the regime for years. I took over the blog and they helped me update it as if it had been mine all along."
With this false history, a man we call Hamid received his Swedish permanent residency permit. "It is 100 per cent sure to succeed," says one man, identified by Swedish Radio as involved in the illegal trade of asylum stories but not knowing he is talking to a Swedish Radio reporter.
Swedish Radio News has undertaken an investigation into the trade of such stories and reviewed three sites in Farsi in particular. These websites are systematically trying to earn money by selling fake asylum stories and tailor-made packages for those who want to come to Sweden. They also have similar services for people who want residency permits for other countries, such as the US, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. A whole package is quoted as costing approximately 60,000 Swedish kroner (approx. $6600).
Reporters: Babak Parham and Emelie Rosén
For more information:
Emelie Rosén, investigative reporter at Swedish Radio, via the switchboard +46-(0)8-784 5000 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org