Armed police patrols in Copenhagen Airport, on March 22, 2016, Denmark. ©AFP
confiscated cash worth thousands of euros from refugees under a
controversial law it adopted earlier this year to stem the flow of
asylum seekers into the country.
“The police in
Copenhagen have seized around 79,600 kroner (10,700 euros, $11,900) from
five foreigners who were trying to enter the country with fake identity
papers,” the police said in a statement on Thursday.
The cash was
confiscated from two men and three women who were arrested late Tuesday
at Copenhagen’s airport and placed in detention for using fake
Police added that the five arrested have asked for asylum, which is under review.
late January, Denmark’s lawmakers approved the controversial proposal
to confiscate refugees’ valuables with the declared aim of helping them
cover their accommodation costs in the country.
The bill is
considered as the latest attempt by the center-right government of
Denmark to curb the influx of asylum seekers into the country.
allows police to seize valuables worth more than DKK 10,000 (about USD
1,450) from asylum seekers while their cases are being processed. It
also includes measures such as delaying family reunification to at least
The contentious proposal has faced widespread criticism at home and abroad when it was announced earlier this month.
Denmark is not the first European country to demand the assets of asylum seekers.
police officer tries to separate pro-refugee and anti-refugee
protesters at the Danish-German border on January 9, 2016 in Krusaa,
Denmark. ©AFPSwitzerland faced criticism for
seizing assets from about 100 people in 2015. Under Swiss regulations,
asylum seekers have to hand over assets above USD 1,000.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has
warned that the proposal violates the UN Refugee Convention and the
European Convention on Human Rights.
Europe is facing an
unprecedented influx of refugees who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones
in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.
214,860 asylum seekers have reached Europe via the Mediterranean so far
this year, while 2,860 people died or went missing in their perilous
journey to the continent, according to the latest figures by the
International Organization of Migration.