Migration officials and the federal police last week came under fire after a feature on ARD’s magazine “report München” revealed that €137,000 was spent to charter a private jet to deport two Kenyan men.
Early Thursday morning on 5th September, a Bavarian police car drove into the Berlin-Schönefeld airport carrying 48 year old Kenyan man ready for deportation. On board of the chartered “Bombardier Global Express” private jet, was another Kenyan man also being deported by the state of Baden-Wurttemberg after his asylum application was rejected with no possibility of appealing the decision.
The case has caused outrage, not because of the deportation but because of the cost of it. However, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the States that chartered the private jet have brought forward several excuses to explain the extravagance.
To begin with, a commercial flight was out of question. Apparently, the two had been issued with emergency travel documents by the Kenyan government that were only valid for 3 days. A common practice with home countries that do not want to take back the returnees, probably a tactic to buy time for the affected, an expert explained on report München. However, finding seats for the two and the 10+ escort team plus the risk of the flight being grounded if the two men resisted the exercise, ruled out a commercial flight in such a short time period.
Secondly, the officials claimed the two had been labelled dangerous delinquents. However no evidence was put forward to support the claim in regards to the man from Baden-Württemberg. For the 48 year old man from Bavaria, receipts abound.
The 48 year old that has been living in Germany for the past 20 years has had several encounters with the police in Bavaria and after his last encounter, the Bavarian State Office for Asylum and Repatriation (Bayerische Landesamt für Asyl und Rückführung) ordered for immediate deportation after serving his sentence. Among the charges levelled against him included, assault, theft, insult and obstruction of law enforcement. In the last incident where he was charged with attempted murder, he ruffled up the victim so badly that the victim has had to undergo three surgeries and still lost 80% of his eye sight.
A further excuse given was that the costs were in the normal range of chartering a private jet. According to the federal police, they have no influence on the price. Once they receive a deportation request from a federal state, the cheapest price is determined by a quick check with suitable charter companies and the contract awarded – said a spokesman for the Federal Police Headquarters in Potsdam
Furthermore, the costs would be split between the two states.
The uneventful exercise took less than 36 hours to deliver the two men in Nairobi and have the team return to Berlin.
However, additional costs that might have been missed included the cost of the 14 person team that was escorted the two men in the “fan fair”. In addition to the flight crew, there were nine federal police officers, a medical doctor, a paramedic and a a representative of the border protection agency Frontex – as neutral observer to document whether or not the officials followed proper deportation procedure.