Asylum seekers disappear en route to centres

Police do not properly register asylum seekers landing at Copenhagen Airport before they put them in taxis to an asylum centre – nearly two thirds never make it there

Around 170 asylum seekers have been put in taxis to the Sandholm Asylum Centre by the police after arriving at Copenhagen Airport this year, but only 70 actually completed the journey.

According to the Immigration Service, asylum seekers arriving in the country have to turn themselves into the police, who then take the asylum seeker’s photograph, collect their fingerprints and confirm their identity.

But according to the tabloid BT, the police did none of these things before putting asylum seekers in taxis at the airport and sending them off to Sandholm.

READ MORE: Few asylum seekers choose to live and work outside centres

Failed method
Copenhagen Police director Thorkild Foged told BT that the taxi method was a mistake, while justice minister Morten Bødskov (S) told TV2 News that the situation was unacceptable.

The far-right Dansk Folkeparti says the case demonstrates the need for increased security checks at the airport.

“We can only hope that these people are not terrorists who are planning attacks against Denmark,” DF's legal spokesperson, Peter Skaarup, told BT. “It’s deeply worrying that we spend so much money on [the domestic intelligence agency PET] to help stop terrorism while Copenhagen Police let in a large number of people whose identities we don’t know.”

Asylum seekers who make the journey to Sandholm are given lodging while their cases are processed, but are allowed to move freely in and out of the centre.

The whereabouts of the 100 asylum seekers who were put in a cab but never arrived at Sandholm remain unknown.