Home Office Legal Blunder Allows Albanian Killer to Avoid Deportation

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Home Secretary, Priti Patel addresses the delegates on t
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A convicted Albanian killer has escaped deportation because of a legal failure on the part of the British government.

Alfred Mahmutaj, 42, a convicted killer, was arrested alongside 68 other Albanian migrants off the coast of East Anglia on November 17 after the National Crime Agency (NCA) agents and Border Force officers intercepted a 101-foot migrant boat from Belgium.

It is believed that Mahmuataj and his 68 compatriots paid up to £20,000 apiece to people smugglers to enter the UK.

The killer was arrested before landing on British soil and therefore was able to dodge prosecution for entering the UK illegally, The Telegraph reported.

The 69 migrants were initially charged with illegally entering the UK under Section 24 of the 1971 Immigration Act, however, the act states that: “a person arriving in the United Kingdom by ship or aircraft shall… be deemed not to enter the United Kingdom unless and until he disembarks”.

It has now emerged that the Home Office did not seek legal advice before making the arrests and was apparently unaware of the legal blunder.

Embarrassingly, the operation hailed at the time by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who described the arrests as a “big win” against a “serious illegal enterprise”.

At present, Mahmutaj being detained while his immigration case is considered by the government. It is possible that he may be able to claim refugee or asylum status on humanitarian grounds.

In his home country, he was imprisoned for 15 years for shooting dead Razije Allushi in front of her eight-year-old daughter outside the southern Albanian city of Lushnje.

In order to prevent further incidents from happening, the UK is planning on changing the law after the Brexit transition period to bar migrants from claiming asylum if they have been intercepted at sea.

The law will come into place in 2021 and will replace the European Union Dublin regulations, which have been used by migrants to skirt deportation.

New immigration laws on the free movement will also come into place next year, preventing any EU citizen from migrating to the UK if they have previously spent at least one year in prison.

“The immigration cases of those involved will now be dealt with as quickly as possible and removal action will be pursued against anyone found to have no right to remain in the UK,” a Home Office source said.

“All asylum seekers undergo security checks against immigration and police databases to identify those who may have been involved in criminality both in the UK or abroad,” the source added.

An official spokesman for the Home Office went on to say: “We will deny the benefits of refugee status to those who commit serious crimes and are a danger to the community. Those with no right to remain in the UK will be removed as soon as possible.”

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