The Directorate of Immigration has decided not to grant residence permits to the two asylum seekers who snuck onboard an Icelandair plane bound for Copenhagen at Keflavík International Airport earlier this month.
One of them has accepted the decision but the other asylum seeker’s reaction is not known. Both of the men can expect to be deported once their cases have been taken to court, visir.is reports.
The Suðurnes Police released a statement yesterday saying that the two men may be found guilty of violating the general penal code and the laws on aviation.
The police have completed their investigation of the incident. The men are also suspected of having earlier tried to sneak onboard an Eimskip transport vessel bound for the US.
In addition, one of the asylum seekers is suspected of theft—the men used stolen clothing to resemble employees of Keflavík International Airport.
During questioning they reportedly tried to mislead the police but never demonstrated violent behavior. They neither threatened the Icelandair crew, airport staff, nor the police, and there are no indications that they tried to damage property.
After the men were caught locked in the bathroom of the Icelandair plane, the aircraft had to be checked for security and another plane and crew had to be called out.
The plane was therefore delayed by four hours and the airline is filing for damages due to the financial loss it suffered as a consequence.
Both of the asylum seekers are believed to be around 20 years old and are staying with other asylum seekers at Fit hostel in Reykjanesbær.
Both of them came to the country in April; one arrived by the Norræna ferry in Seyðisfjörður in the east, and the other by plane at Keflavík Airport.
Their cases and those of other asylum seekers have sparked heated debates on the treatment of asylum seekers in Iceland.
The two men claimed to be younger than 20 years old upon arrival to the country but age analysis carried out by a physician indicates otherwise.
In related news, a stowaway was caught onboard the research vessel Knorr, en route from Iceland to the US on Monday evening, as Kristín Völundardóttir, who heads the Directorate of Immigration, confirmed to visir.is.
The man is also believed to be an asylum seeker in Iceland. A group of asylum seekers have repeatedly tried to sneak onboard Eimskip transport vessels at Reykjavík harbor but have been caught before the ship left the harbor.
Björn Hólmsteinsson, spokesperson for TVG Ziemsen Cruise Agency, told visir.is that Knorr will not return to Reykjavík. It will continue its journey to the US and the stowaway will be made to return to Iceland from there.
Click here to read more about the Icelandair story and here to read more about the debates on asylum seekers.