Last nine stowaways deported to Nigeria

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2006 - Expatica News 2006
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BRUSSELS — Nine stowaways found in freezing cold on a container ship near Antwerp last December have been repatriated back to Nigeria.

The Belgian immigration service DVZ-OE said the nine Africans were repatriated on a secure flight on Monday. The successful expulsion follows several failed attempts.

The rejected asylum seekers were placed on a government plane that departed from Melsbroek, near Zaventem. A stopover was made in Spain and the flight continued onto Lagos in Nigeria.

"The expulsion passed off peacefully and without problem," immigration spokesman Geert De Vulder said.

Previous attempts to repatriate the stowaways had failed due to strong resistance from the African nationals.

The first of the 10 stowaways found on the container ship at Kallo last December had earlier been repatriated to Nigeria.

The deportations were ordered after the requests for asylum lodged by the Africans were rejected and every avenue of appeal exhausted.

Repatriation on a secure flight is the last alternative in the process of expulsion.

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