As readers are no doubt aware, many claiming "refugee" status in foreign countries aren't refugees at all. They simply want the better economic opportunities offered in other countries, but can't get legal immigrant status there, due to lack of skills or competition for a limited number of immigrant visas: so they try to cheat, and pose as refugees.
I'm always pleased when their schemes are exposed, as happened in Norway this week.
Four persons who arrived in Oslo without any identity papers were mighty surprised when police later confronted them with the remnants of their passports – found after sifting through the contents of their flight's toilets.
"It was a real dirty job," remarked one of the police officers assigned to the case.
The four would-be refugees, all from India, had claimed they had no passports or other identification documents. They applied for asylum in Norway upon landing at Oslo's main airport at Gardermoen.
Police were suspicious, however, and searched the cabin of the flight they'd landed on, looking for the missing documents. When they weren't found, they ordered that the aircraft's septic tank be emptied.
It was, and the contents were delivered to police. A police officer handed the messy job of sorting out the contents quickly found remnants of four passports that had been ripped up and thrown down the toilet.
After a few hours, the police officer managed to fit the pieces together, complete with photos of the all four, their passport numbers and the names of each. The names matched those on the airline's passenger list.
"They were very surprised when confronted with the remnants of their passports when they tried to register for asylum," said Farhad Lotfzadpak of the police unit at Gardermoen.
All four later disappeared, however, from the asylum center where they'd been sent, before their cases came up for interviews.
It's too bad that the overly humane Norwegian authorities didn't keep them under lock and key during the investigation, so that they'll now have to trace them the hard way. At least, when they're found, they'll now be sent straight home.
This is a growing problem in many nations. The US has so far been pretty strict about 'refugees', holding them in detention if there's any doubt about their claims, and refusing most of those who try to pose as refugees without proper cause. This, in turn, brings cries of "inhumanity!" from the professional feel-gooders . . . but I'd rather have the strict scrutiny, thank you very much. People who try to cheat their way into a country aren't likely to make good citizens.