The Secretary of State for Asylum and Immigration, Theo Francken, is preparing a bill which compels asylum seekers to have their GSM systems and laptops checked after arrival. This will make it possible to establish their identity.
During a visit to Denmark, he explained that a European directive makes it possible to implement such a provision.
Police will have to be present at the Foreign Office to carry out this operation.
Mr Francken confirmed that “Between 60% and 70% asylum seekers lie about an aspect of their identity. This may be their surname, age, the journey taken from their country of origin.”
GSM systems or computers hold data which allows officials to check the truth of their story.
Facebook profiles may also prove useful. “Someone may swear that he was imprisoned in Baghdad but then have posted a photograph of himself on the beach,” adds Freddy Rosemont, the Chief Executive of the Foreign Office.
Under current rules, an asylum seeker can refuse that his telephone or computer be checked in this way.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)