Displaying items by tag: repatriation
The US decision to remove 2,000 troops from Syria worries France, which has 200 special forces in areas wrested from IS by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). US forces ferried supplies to French commandos, and helped evacuate French wounded. But the great dilemma is what to do with the 130 French jihadists held by the SDF (along with 770 from other countries). The SDF complains of the burden of guarding so many foreign jihadists, and wants France to repatriate its 130 nationals. The numbers could swell. Another 250 French jihadists are held in Iraq. Many of the detainees are women and children deeply implicated in terrorism. The French prison systems cannot cope with a massive influx of returning jihadists. And if they are tried, it could be difficult to find evidence against them. There are already 150 returnees in the prisons, with thirty due to be freed this year. French intelligence has repeatedly been unable to prevent terrorists on watchlists from staging attacks.
The Foreign Office (FO) has been recouping the cost of repatriating young women who were forced into marriages overseas, prompting charities to criticise it for making women ‘pay for their protection’. Many of the 82 victims of forced marriage repatriated in 2016-17 had to pay for living costs incurred between making distress calls and returning home, as well as their airfare; others received loans which they had to repay. They had to give up their passports until they had repaid the debt, with a surcharge added after six months. But many could not find work because potential employers wanted to see their passport, which the FO held. Four young British women imprisoned and tortured at a ‘correctional’ religious school in Somalia ahead of expected forced marriages had to pay £740 to return home; they said the burden of having to repay the loans contributed to their becoming destitute.
In the wake of an announcement that the UK is to clamp down on rich foreigners, a number of Russian oligarchs have reportedly asked the Kremlin if they can return to their country without being arrested. British security minister Ben Wallace is said to have sparked fear among some of London's wealthy foreign contingent when he announced tough measures to crack down on criminals and corrupt politicians, resembling those portrayed in the TV series McMafia. The High Court has started issuing unexplained wealth orders (UWO's), in which money of those who were unable to explain how they acquired British assets of more than £50,000 could be frozen. Last March the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project stated 500 wealthy and well-connected Russians were behind a ‘global laundromat' when their banking records were obtained.