Border Guard: Some Asylum Seekers Crossing Eastern Border Suspected of Crime in Finland | Homeland

A Finnish border guard tells Yle that some asylum seekers who have come through the eastern border are suspected of having committed a crime in Finland.

The Border Patrol did not specify how many asylum seekers it currently has suspected of criminal activity, but it spoke of “some individuals.”

It also did not say what crimes they were involved in.

However, the Border Guard Service points out that the cases they mentioned are not about suspected crimes related to crossing the border, but that the persons were suspected of committing a crime during their stay in Finland.

Yle knows of one case where an asylum seeker who arrived in Finland in November was suspected of committing a sex crime. However, the prosecutor did not press charges in this case because he felt that the act did not meet the characteristics of the crime.

Since the beginning of August, more than 1,300 third-country nationals from Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq have arrived in Finland via the eastern border. Most of them are suspected of state border crimes related to unauthorized border crossings.

There may be people involved in armed violence

Ministry of Home Affairs dated January 10, 2024 Background note Police estimate that persons who pose a risk to internal security have entered Finland illegally through the eastern border.

Yle asked the border guard and the Finnish immigration service what they knew about high-risk individuals.

commander Juho Old House Among those entering the country are those who have participated in armed violence at some point in their lives, the Border Security Force's Intelligence Center said.

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And, according to him, some asylum seekers are suspected of having committed a crime before arriving in Finland.

Vanhatalo did not comment on whether there are currently any criminal investigations into the actions of the asylum seekers prior to their arrival in Finland.

Migri identifies individual risk individuals

Special Inspector General (Mikri) of the Finnish Immigration Service. Team Makinan The agency says it has so far made personal observations of potential risk individuals.

According to Makinen, observations were made regarding the asylum investigation.

Migri's findings are passed on to security officials in the asylum process about applicants who may pose a risk to internal security.

Magkinen says identifying individuals who pose a threat to internal security is done in cooperation with authorities.

When submitting an asylum claim, the border guard or the police collect basic information about the asylum seeker. At the same time, fingerprints are taken and authenticity of personal documents is checked.

In connection with record checks on applicants, information about possible previous asylum applications and crimes is investigated.

– In the actual asylum interview, the applicant is clarified by background, route of travel and entry into the country. At the same time, narrative and documentary evidence are evaluated as part of identity, Mackinnon says.

He added that officers of the Asylum Unit are trained to recognize signs of a possible criminal background.

– For example, participation in armed operations is investigated for all applicants.

On February 8, 2024, Interior Minister Mari Randanen (ps.) announced the continuation of the border closure. The story continues after the video.

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Interior Minister Mari Rantanen (ps.) announced at a press conference on February 8, 2024 that the border closure would be extended by two months.

“Don't Know Everything About Everyone”

The largest number of asylum seekers coming through the eastern border belong to a group that commits more crimes than average: they are 18-30-year-olds, uneducated, unemployed and without families, says border guard commander Juho Vanhadalo. .

According to Vanhadalo, as a result of the border check, registration and asylum interview, something about everyone's background was known.

– Not knowing everything about everyone would be an unrealistic expectation.

Threats related to the phenomenon of instrumentalized migration are wide-ranging, and he underlines that internal security risks are not only about the actions of individual migrants.

– More than 1,300 crimes against public order were committed on the eastern border in a short period of time due to state border crimes and crimes of organizing illegal immigration. Personally, I would consider this figure to be a serious threat to public order, even if the asylum seeker has not been convicted of a cross-border crime.

According to Vanhadalo, another way events indirectly threaten public order is by tying up officers' resources and prioritizing tasks, resulting in less oversight elsewhere.

Also see Yle's morning of 16 November 2023 discussing Russia's role in the influx of asylum seekers:

Morning of Yle, November 16, 2023. What is Russia's role in the influx of asylum seekers?

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