Sweden has tightened its borders but has already welcomed thousands of people it doesn’t want but can’t get rid of.
The news that the main suspect in the April 7th Stockholm terror attack had been previously handed a deportation order has raised questions over how he was allowed to remain in Sweden.
The deportation order for Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek national denied a residency permit in Sweden, entered into legal force in December 2016. Swedish police explained that the case was referred to them the following February, but he was not at the address he was registered as living at and could not be found. Akilov had not been flagged as a security risk by security police Säpo.
Thousands of people are being sought in similar circumstances in Sweden, and it is often difficult to locate them, police have noted. False address information like using a PO Box as a registered address can make it tough to track the person down.
“The biggest challenges police face when attempting to enforce deportation is the person’s identity isn’t always reliable, not all countries want to take back their citizens if they don’t return freely, and many disappear when they get their decision,” national border police head Patrik Engström said on the police website.
Had Akilov been found he wouldn’t have been deported anyway:
Indeed, on their website police explained that a general rule is that when attempting to deport someone to Uzbekistan the person should only travel of their own free will, without an escort and without agencies in the country being contacted beforehand.
Meanwhile, a suggested solution for the terror attack method of the moment:
Cars and other vehicles “have turned into deadly weapons”, and should be banished from cities to stop attacks like the one in Stockholm from happening in future, according to Aftonbladet editorialist Eva Franchell.
Ban people from cities and achieve 100% safety.