Feature

Immigration scam

The week's news at a glance.

Paris

A prominent “world music” star has been charged with smuggling hundreds of people into France by claiming they were members of his band. Papa Wemba, a Belgian citizen known as the king of Congolese rumba, faces up to 10 years in jail for aiding illegal immigration, forgery, and fraudulently obtaining official documents. Police said he brought several hundred people from Congo to France and Belgium by registering them as musicians with his group, Viva la Musica. Wemba, who is famous across Europe and Africa and has played with British rock star Peter Gabriel, admitted that he had helped “a few dozen” people gain residency permits. Congo has a massive refugee problem, the legacy of years of civil war.

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