A large group of Ukrainian asylum seekers are making use of a special payment to help them return to their home country and the grant system may now be stopped, the justice ministry said on Thursday.
Last year, 387 Ukrainians were given the cash to go home, compared with just 58 in 2014. And this January, a further 64 people have benefited from the €3,350 pay out, figures from international migration organisation IOM show.
In addition, almost everyone involved comes from the Ivano-Frankivsk region in western Ukraine, which is considered a safe area. This means people have little chance of a successful asylum application.
Justice ministry officials are now looking into the figures and the grants may be stopped. Earlier cases of fraud resulted in the benefit being suspended for Mongolian and Albanian nationals.
‘As soon as we see abuse, I will not hesitate to take Ukraine off the list,’ broadcaster Nos quotes junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff as saying.
However, the payments do play an important role in encouraging people to leave and are always more cost effective than the asylum procedure, he said.
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