Just weeks after being accused of gang rape and murdering a 13-year-old girl, an Afghan suspected killer managed to enter Britain under a fictitious name.
After it was revealed yesterday that Rasuili Zubaidullah, 22, had crossed the Channel in a boat carrying refugees and claimed asylum under a false name, border security issues were raised.
Despite the fact that he was sought in Austria for murder and rape, he was kept in a hotel at the expense of British taxpayers for almost a fortnight until his true identity was revealed.
It is believed that until they received a tip from Austrian police, immigration officials were unaware that Zubaidullah was wanted in connection with the violent attack of a teenager in Vienna three weeks prior.
On July 29, detectives from the National Extradition Unit detained Zubaidullah at an Ibis hotel in Whitechapel, east London, and he is now facing extradition proceedings.
Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, there are fears that refugees arriving in the UK would be subjected to screenings.
The news that a suspected killer and rapist was able to enter Britain on a refugee boat comes at a time when the number of migrants crossing the Channel is at an all-time high, with over 14,000 crossing since the beginning of the year.
When Zubaidullah entered the country on July 18, it is believed he gave Border Force officers in Kent a phoney identity and other false information.
After the body of a missing 13-year-old girl was discovered propped up by a tree in central Vienna on June 26, he is reported to have departed Austria. Before being suffocated, the victim, identified only by her first name Leonie, had been drugged and gang raped.
She later travelled to an apartment in Vienna’s Donaustadt neighbourhood, where she met two other Afghans, ages 18 and 23, as well as a known drug dealer who fed her ecstasy. According to investigators, the youngster was gang raped and then asphyxiated before her body was wrapped in a carpet and discarded around 100 yards from her residence.
Zubaidullah was the subject of an international manhunt, with authorities initially believing he had escaped to Italy. The fugitive is believed to have boarded a train in Innsbruck before travelling across Europe to northern France, where he paid people smugglers for passage across the Channel. Prior to the murder, at least two of the persons suspected of being involved were facing deportation.
‘I am so angry. Why hasn’t this person been deported long ago? My little one trusted a 16-year-old who probably took her to the older one in the apartment and that was her death sentence’ said the mother.
Zubaidullah appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video connection on September 3 to face extradition proceedings from Wandsworth prison in south-west London. He is due in court on October 1 and will be subjected to a full extradition hearing in January.
Concerns have been raised concerning identity verification for Afghan refugees entering the nation as a result of this case. Staff from the Border Force have confirmed that a tiny number of immigrants travelling into Heathrow lack identification or have presented fraudulent documents.
‘This case is an example of why we are so worried about the potential for loopholes being exploited by criminals and terrorists who may be seeking to come here from Afghanistan.’ said Alp Mehmet of think-tank Migration Watch UK.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said yesterday that she was unable to comment on a pending investigation.