Calais migrants mutilate fingertips to hide true identity
By Peter Allen
Last updated at 11:03 AM on 22nd July 2009
Migrants massed in Calais in hopes of getting into Britain are mutilating their fingerprints so that their true identities cannot be established, it emerged today.
They burn their hands, or remove layers of skin to prevent analysis from being effective.
This means that data showing everything from criminal records to repeat attempts to claim asylum will not appear on European wide computers.
The sinister development was revealed by Calais prefect Gerard Gavory who said that at least 57 asylum seekers questioned in the port town over the past few weeks 'had their finger prints removed.'
Mr Gavory said scars caused by knives and razors were commonplace, or else polyurethane glue or even acid was used to remove fingerprint patterns.
The most common method was to place all ten fingers on an oven hob and turn up the heat.
The European Union has a joint database called Eurodoc which stores asylum-seekers' prints. If migration officials discover applicants have already had their case heard in another EU state, they are liable to be sent back.
Just as importantly, known criminals can be turned back at borders, preventing them living in countries like Britain on benefits while they claim asylum, or else disappearing into the black economy.
Police in Calais believe that some of the 2000 odd UK bound migrants sleeping rough in the town are repeat asylum seekers with criminal records.
All are prepared to try and get to Britain at any cost, regularly playing a cat-and-mouse game with the authorities as they try and get aboard ferries and trains.
Mr Gavory said he was hoping that deportation flights back to countries like Afghanistan would soon resume.
He said Britain was in favour of them, and 'By my reckoning, Great Britain is not less democratic than France.'
Mr Gavory added: 'We're not sending them to their deaths, but towards peaceful zones. In organising a return, we will be sending a strong signal to the Afghans. At the moment they have a sense of complete impunity in Calais.'
The authorities in Calais are preparing to destroy the so-called 'The Jungle', an area of wasteland close to the ferry port where hundreds live in conditions of complete squalor.
Asked to respond to claims by charities that The Jungle will be closed as early as this week, Mr Gavory said: 'There are rumours. We'll see if they're true or not. What's sure is that when it happens we won't be shouting it from the roof tops. We're working on it.
'We have to tear it down before the end of the year, and it's a difficult job. Razing it is easy, but we must do it the right way.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1201126/Calais-migrants-mutilate-fingertips-hide-true-identity.html#ixzz0N5N3ImIj