Police have arrested a 38-year-old woman in the no-go suburbs of Paris after she was accused of defrauding the French state of up to €210,000 from a coronavirus aid programme.
Beauty salon owner Ami K. claimed that she had been forced to put 50 employees out of work due to the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, but it was later revealed that she had no staff at all. The beauty salon had been out of business for a long time.
However, the 38-year-old was able to get approval for coronavirus aid and without needing to present proof, she received €210,000 from the French government, LCI reports.
Investigators say that soon after the funds were approved, the 38-year-old booked an appointment with a plastic surgeon and spent €12,000 on breast and buttock enhancement surgeries. She also spent €35,000 on designer clothes and other items and put €90,000 in her children’s’ bank accounts.
German Islamists Raided over Coronavirus Aid Fraud Allegations https://t.co/VfKV7Qmjp4
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Following her arrest, police seized €86,500, various luxury goods, and a new car but were unable to recover €123,500. While in custody, the 38-year-old claimed she had fragile mental health and could not resist the money. Her trial is expected to start later this month.
French police say that coronavirus aid scheme fraud has surged in recent weeks and that tens of millions of euros of cash may have been illegally obtained by individuals not entitled to support.
Similar cases have been seen in Germany in recent months, leading to raids in May of known radical Islamists in Berlin over aid fraud, several of which were linked to the 2016 Berlin Christmas Market terror attacker Anis Amri.
Just a month later, more raids were conducted in Berlin at the Islamic-linked Ibrahim al-Khalil mosque in the Tempelhof district along with a shop and private residence next to the mosque. The suspects in the case are said to have claimed coronavirus aid money for businesses that did not exist.