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Murder Suspect Escapes Britain In Burka

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Murder suspect fled under Muslim veil

By Paul Stokes
Last Updated: 2:40pm GMT 20/12/2006

A Somali asylum seeker wanted for the murder of WPc Sharon Beshenivsky is believed to have fled Britain dressed as a woman wearing a Muslim niqab, which covers the whole face apart from the eyes.

Somali Mustuf Jama arrived in Britain with his family using a false passport

Four of his fellow gang members face life imprisonment for the shooting during a bungled raid on a travel agency.

Mustaf Jama, 26, was allowed to stay in Britain despite serving four jail terms in six years after arriving with his family on a false passport.

His first criminal conviction was in 1998. In August 2000 he was allowed to stay in the UK for seven years.

He was dealt with by the courts on 11 occasions for 21 matters including two firearms and weapons offences, theft and offences against the person. Home Office officials decided not to deport him to Somalia, ruling that it was too dangerous for him.

Intelligence sources suggest he stole his sister’s passport and slipped though the net at Heathrow between Christmas and New Year.

He is thought to be hiding in Somalia where approaches have been made to the transitional federal government to return him to Britain.

His younger brother Yusuf Jama, 20, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday of murdering WPc Beshenivsky, 38, in Bradford on November 18 last year.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that the Jamas belong to a once-powerful family in Somalia. Their father was a cousin of the dictator Siad Barre, ousted in 1991.

The Jamas’ mother, Nadifaegal, arrived in the UK on Jan 5 1993 with three of her children, four others having come the previous year. She admitted to immigration officials that the man who brought her in posing as her husband was in fact a Kenyan people trafficker.

Mustaf Jama was one of Britain’s "most wanted" when he fled. His photograph and details were circulated to every police force, port and airport. Sources believe he may have dressed in a niqab, favoured by devout Muslim women in Somalia.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said it “beggars belief” that a wanted criminal could leave the country hidden behind a veil.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme there were existing powers for people wearing veils to be searched and urged the Government to issue “urgent clarification” on whether immigration or airport officials should carry out the check.

He added that asylum seekers like Jama, who had been convicted of crimes but not be deported, should be subject to “much stricter surveillance”.

“He was left to his own devices and of course the consequences were tragic for Sharon Beshenivsky.”

The case has promopted calls for stricter checks at airports. Under the 1971 Immigration Act, travellers can be asked to lift the veil at passport control, with the option of using a private room with a female official present.

All passengers coming into Britain are checked, but those departing are often selected randomly.

A male suspect in a major anti-terrorist investigation evaded capture for several days when he dressed in a burka, concealing him from head to foot.

There are four stages where "visual checks" can be carried out for departing passengers where the face is matched to a passport photograph. Airlines are responsible when passengers first check in; the British Airport Authority when people go through security with boarding passes; the Home Office at immigration control; and a final visual check possible at the boarding gate…

Gosh, what a shock. Who could have ever imagined such a thing as happening?

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said it “beggars belief” that a wanted criminal could leave the country hidden behind a veil.

Right. Surely this has never happened before and will never be allowed to happen again.

That this man was allowed to remain in Britain after all of his crimes "beggars belief."

(Thanks to Richard Dean for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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