Following the search of the dwellings of more than 40 asylum seekers in Reykjanesbaer municipality on September 11, organized by the Directorate of Immigration, some of those who had been working illegally in Iceland decided to withdraw their applications.
During the house search, police discovered documents indicating that around ten asylum seekers had been working in Iceland for different periods of time despite receiving free food and accommodation, 24 Stundir reports.
“It is more extensive than we expected. These people have been used as cheap labor,” said head of the directorate Haukur Gudmundsson. He explained that the purpose of the search had been to look for IDs and other documents which would reveal the real identities of the asylum seekers.
“At the dwellings of four asylum seekers from Albania a considerably large amount of money was found and they were told that their cost of living would no longer be covered. They have withdrawn their applications,” Gudmundsson said. “It turned out that they all have valid residence permits in Greece to 2015 but have for the past seven years applied for asylums in every Nordic country.”
Gudmundsson said an asylum seeker who claims to be Algerian is suspected of being in fact French. At the dwelling of another applicant a criminal sentence for a serious assault issued in Sweden was discovered. A third asylum seeker of Chinese origin turned out to have a passport issued in Holland.
Gudmundsson is satisfied with the results of the house search although he regrets the inconvenience caused to those asylum seekers who were honest about their backgrounds and intentions.
“There are many people who are trying to find shelter and others who are simply abusing this resort,” Gudmundsson said.
The ISK 1.6 million (USD 15,000, EUR 11,000) that was confiscated has been returned.
The Red Cross of Iceland has launched an investigation into the house search.
Click here to read more about that story.