A 43-year-old Tunisian failed asylum seeker who has used 19 separate fake identities could finally be facing deportation after having escaped four separate attempts to deport him from Germany.
Tunisian Fathi Ben M. was arrested in December for selling drugs on the Warsaw bridge in Berlin but was later let go as police had no warrant to keep him in custody. For years, the 43-year-old has managed to escape police and defy deportation orders, but last weekend he was arrested again with police saying he will definitely be deported this time, Berliner Zeitung reports.
Fatih Ben M. came to Germany illegally in 2014 and was transferred to Bautzen in Saxony. Over the past few years, the Tunisian had managed to disappear from the radar of authorities, escaping deportation four times and eventually moving to Berlin.
After he was let go in December by police in Berlin, some in Saxony claimed that the migrant may have links to radical Islamic extremism and was a national danger. While this later turned out not to be the case, the release of the failed Tunisian migrant drew a parallel to Tunisian Islamic terrorist Anis Amri who killed a dozen people at a Berlin Christmas market in December of 2016.
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Amri, who also used multiple identities to commit benefit fraud, was involved in the drug trade in Berlin, as well. A month before the Christmas market terror attack, Amri was arrested by Berlin police who had an opportunity to deport him but ended up letting him go instead.
The left-wing coalition government in Berlin has been vocal in its opposition to forced deportations and has resisted the German federal government on the issue.
Some estimate that there are currently around 53,000 rejected asylum seekers living in the German capital and 11,800 of those are candidates for forced deportation.