Norwegian police believe that as many as 10,000 immigrants are living in Norway under false identification papers
The ranks of undocumented immigrants in Norway are swelling. Police now think as many as 10,000 persons are living in the country under false identification papers, and asylum seekers who refuse to cooperate with the authorities seem to get away with it.
Norwegian immigration authorities claim they lack the legal muscle needed to punish or expel would-be refugees who refuse to provide credible identification papers or who lie about their backgrounds.
Norwegian police, who are charged with enforcing the country's immigration laws, also say they have uncovered several Islamic extremists who got into Norway using false identification.
No known or suspected terrorists have been been among them, but police intelligence officials worry it's only a matter of time.
"In the concrete cases (of false IDs) that (special police unit) PST has uncovered, we haven't found any evidence of criminal activity so far," Jørn Holme, head of PST, told newspaper Aftenposten. "But we've turned the cases over to the local police. It's important that the false ID alone be handled as a criminal case."
Officials believe that around 10,000 immigrants in Norway are in the country on false pretenses, but no one will go on record with the claim. That's because it's impossible to prove.
Arne Jørgen Olafsen, head of the police unit charged with immigration matters (Politiets utlendingsenhet, PU), told Aftenposten that it's much too easy and profitable for persons seeking political asylum to refuse to cooperate with the authorities handling their cases.
DNA testing or searches of the applicant's home or those of his or her friends are among methods forbidden during routine ID checks. Under current law, such means can only be used when criminal activity is suspected.
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