Official information

Illegal immigrants released from custody

Illegal immigrants to Norway which were placed in custody have to be released due to lack of prison capacity.

Earlier this week, two illegal immigrants were released from custody because the prison did not have room for them. "We will never find these people again," says Reidar Skjønsfjell, head of the police's section for aliens in Hedmark.

The two immigrants were arrested during a border control last week. After spending four days in prison the two individuals were released, due to a lack of space.

The head of prosecution at the police station at Hamar, Rolf Thoresen, explains that the general rule is that they cannot keep anyone in custody for more than 48 hours. Thoresen says that they held the two immigrants for a total of four days, but saw no other option than to let them both go when they had no more room.

Skjønsfjell is frustrated with the situation, and tells NRK that the police's work seems to be wasted when illegal immigrants are simply let go. "We invest a lot of work in catching the people who attempt to enter Norway illegally, only to release them again," he says.

Skjønsfjell says that they have no further information about the two immigrants, other than that they were released in Hamar just before the weekend. "They have no money, a place to live or any contacts, so it's hard to say what will happen to them."


Julie Ryland

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