A number of people taking state funds in the form of benefits, and claiming to be available for work, are going on holiday.
The spot-checks being carried out at Denmark’s airports designed to catch social security fraudsters have so far raked in about DKK 1 million (€134,000), TV2 news and the Copenhagen Post report.
The Luftfartstilsynet civil aviation authority was given DKK 2.2 million in funding to make 27 of the checks per year for the next four years. These began in March.
The aim is to nab people who are secretly going on holiday while also taking state money in the form of benefits and claiming to be constantly available for work.
At Copenhagen and Aalborg airports, 155 people have so far been apprehended, charged with social security fraud and ordered to pay back a combined one million kroner.
“This underlines the necessity to carry out checks at airports. It’s a very large amount that we’ve been swindled out of that we’ve discovered in a very short time,” said Troels Lund Poulsen, Denmark’s employment minister.
“Unfortunately, we can expect to see similar amounts in future. Some people seem to organise things so that they leave Denmark illegally with their benefits without being available on the Danish job market.”
In one case, a man has been ordered to repay DKK 200,000 because he had travelled abroad for four years. He will also have to forfeit 20 weeks of benefits because this is the second time he was caught.
“People receive money from the communal welfare fund and then some of them totally unacceptably choose to abuse that trust,” Poulsen said.