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More than 40 people including convicted crooks and failed asylum seekers flown to Albania

Forty two people who the Home Office said had no right to be in the UK were today flown back to Albania.

The Home Office said they included people who arrived illegally via small boats crossing The Channel and others convicted of supplying class A drugs and facilitating illegal entry.

Those convicted of offences had combined sentence of 89 years.

Details released by the Home Office showed 32 of them were foreign national offenders (FNOs), six failed asylum seekers, four non asylum offenders and three had arrived across the Channel in boats.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The FNO returnees were convicted of the following offences: drug production and supply; possession of an offensive weapon; theft; possession of a false immigration document/passport/improperly obtained identity document; possession of criminal property; property damage; entry in breach of a deportation order.

"Those with no right to be in the UK, including dangerous foreign national offenders who flout our laws, should be in no doubt that we will do whatever is necessary to remove them. This is what the public rightly expects.”

However, it is just a fraction of the number of people who have arrived across the Channel this year - now at around 42,000 with about 40 per cent coming from Albania.

More than 8,000 Albanians claimed asylum in the year to the end of June 2022 and 53 per cent of these were approved.

Rudin Gripshi, 49, who was jailed for 13 years for being in a Midlands gang involved in trafficking £1million of cocaine, was among those deported as were Gazmir Mule, who was sentenced to 12 years for possessing Class A drugs, and Andrea Zekaqis, 31, jailed for four and a half years for supplying Class B drugs.

Illegal immigration and asylum issues continue to be high on the political agenda.

On Wednesday (December 21) Home Secretary Suella Braverman told a House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee that it is expected to cost £3.5 billion to accommodate and support about 147,000 asylum seekers, whose claims are still being processed, in the year to the end of September.

She also could not rule out using decommissioned cruise ships, holiday parks and student halls of residence as asylum seeker accommodation.

She said: "We want to end the use of hotels as quickly as possible because it’s an unacceptable cost to the taxpayer, it’s over £5 million a day on hotel use alone.

“We will bring forward a range of alternative sites. They will include disused holiday parks, former student halls – I should say we are looking at those sites. I wouldn’t say anything is confirmed yet.

“But we need to bring forward thousands of places, and when you talk about vessels all I can say is, because we are in discussion with a wide variety of providers, that everything is still on the table and nothing is excluded.”


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