According to the witness before the Prosecutor's Office, there were more than 40 cases reported between 2019 and 2021
Faced with various increases in controls, the counterfeiting network made up of the former custodian of Luis Lacalle Pou repeatedly managed to polish the maneuver and continue operating. (AFP)
In the midst of the controversy generated by the criminal network that falsified Russian documents in Uruguay, a Civil Identification chief declared that he was able to verify more than 40 falsifications of birth certificates between 2019 and 2020, reported El País.
His testimony was given on September 26 at the Prosecutor's Office and the man mentioned that since 2019has been denouncing this type of fraud in the procedures, through which Russian citizens were able to access Uruguayan citizenship under the protection of laws that enable grandchildren and children of Uruguayans to have the country's citizenship.
In his statement, he explained that those involved brought birth certificates from Russia already apostilled and added the name of some Uruguayan, generally already deceased. The translation work was also done by Russians, since in Uruguay there are no official translators into that language. Subsequently, this document was registered in the Foreigners Section of the Civil Identification Directorate.
Asked about how the maneuver was detected, he replied that in many procedures two names appeared in common: the notary public Álvaro F. and manager Adriana S. “These people came with many cases of Russian sons of Uruguayansand that turned out to be suspicious to us,” the witness stated and affirmed that they have videos of these procedures.
According to El País, a file was put together in 2019 who came to the Prosecutor's Office after contacting several children and widows of people whose data had been used illegally and without prior consultation. At the time of these statements, they had more than 40 casesreported.
On some occasions they had “no choice but to issue the IDs.” In others, the documents were denied. However, given an increase in controls, the criminal organization “polished a little more” the maneuver and continued its operation, assured the head of Civil Identification.
According to the witness said , the researchers from the Directorate of Civil Identification did not feel much support from the authorities at the time (2019) regarding the case-by-case analysis of birth certificates.
Another of the ways they found to evade the controls was to process the Uruguayan citizenships in offices of the same organization, but located in the interior of the country. Once this maneuver was neutralized through the joint work of Civil Identification and the Ministry of the Interior, the network found a new loophole: carry out the procedures at the consulates. “The vast majority of cases in which Uruguayan passports were issued to Russian citizens were issued by the Uruguayan consulate in Moscow,” said the prosecution witness.
On the other hand, he assured that these Russian citizens who obtained Uruguayan citizenship and passport did not meet the formal requirements established by the country and are not registered in the Electoral Court. This means that the procedures are not recognized by the Uruguayan Electoral Court. In this sense, the prosecutor in the Gabriela Fossati case requested reports from different public bodies on citizenship granted to Russians.