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Photo: Swedavia

Sweden locks up then deports tourists

Two tourists travelling to Sweden were locked up for nine weeks and deported by plane at a cost of SEK 1.1mn.

Two Senegalese brothers who travelled to Sweden with valid tourist visas were locked in a secure facility for nine weeks and then deported, the newspaper Aftonbladet is reporting.

The entire procedure cost taxpayers more than SEK 1.1 million (€105,000).

The decision by the Swedish Migration Agency to ignore the tourists’ visas, which had been issued by the Netherlands, has already come under heavy criticism by campaigners.

The men, Pape Matar and Ibra Lo, arrived at the border by bus from the Netherlands last year, they said to visit a festival in Malmö.

Sweden’s border police claim they had reason to believe the visas had been “obtained in a fraudulent manner”.

Aftonbladet now reveals that after being locked up for nine weeks they were sent home on a privately chartered plane with six border police officers, sending the costs skyrocketing.

“When we see the cost, it just shows the absurdity and the system failure of what happened,” Malin Björk, a Left Party MEP, tells The Local.

“You cannot give those two months back to those brothers and the discrimination they have received. I think it will mark them for the rest of their lives. There needs to be an investigation, so […] it doesn’t happen again.”

“Couldn’t eat”
Ibra Lo says he is still waiting for clarification from the Swedish authorities as to why he was locked up.

“I don’t know why the police were racist to me. I’ve asked for a response from Sweden but still haven’t heard anything,” he tells The Local.

“I couldn’t eat because I was so worried – it’s never happened to me before. We have visited other countries in Europe before like Spain and Portugal and never had any problems.”