New asylum scam exposed
Border dodgers using information packs to get past immigrant checks
By Tom Brady
Thursday January 03 2008
Many bogus asylum applicants are arriving here armed with an information pack on how to beat the system.
An investigation into asylum seeker abuses has also uncovered elaborate scams being used by the illegals to evade detection by immigration authorities.
The investigation, codenamed Operation Gull, is a joint exercise involving the gardai, the Department of Social and Family Affairs, the UK Borders and Immigration Agency and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
An estimated 12pc of illegal migrants exposed by Operation Gull had been travelling on false documents. Officials said last night that bogus papers were also being used by criminals to move between countries.
A recent case involved an Algerian who had been deported from the UK after a conviction and prison sentence for rape.
With the help of his brother, he obtained a false French passport and flew from Algiers to Paris and then to Dublin. He was then intercepted by Gull investigators in Belfast.
Nigerians, who consistently comprise the biggest single nationality claiming asylum in Ireland, are also by far the largest single national group encountered in the operation.
Many of the offenders have already claimed asylum here and are making a second attempt with the help of their information packs.
Others use a carousel method to claim benefits here, and in the UK, by using a number of passports to travel between the two jursdictions. The carousels are mainly used by Nigerians, Ethiopians, Georgians and Pakistanis.
Gull uncovered evidence of Moldovans on false Lithuanian documents, who had gained entry to the UK at Dover and were bound for Ireland to work illegally.
Investigators established that their journey had been organised by a “facilitator”.
It has also been determined that 80pc of applicants, who claimed they arrived here by air, particularly those from Nigeria, Georgia and DR Congo, did not have identity documents.
– Tom Brady Security Editor
Scams exposed by Operation Gull