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Guards stay in luxury hotels after deportations

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Guards stay in luxury hotels after deportations
Life is sweet at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. File poto: Berit Roald/NTB Scanpix
08:37 CEST+02:00
Taxpayers foot the bill for luxury hotels and business-class flights when prison staff accompany deportees to foreign countries, according to a media report.

Last year, the cost of forced deportations from Sweden rose nearly 20 million kronor ($2.8 million), despite a drop in the number of transportations, according to report from Sveriges Radio’s Kaliber programme.

Almost all forced deportations are carried out with the help of the transportation section of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården). Last year, the service’s transportation costs exceeded 240 million kronor, with part of the money spent on business-class flights.

Examining trips with leased planes from 2011 to 2014, Kaliber found some 80 cases in which prison service staff had spent two or three days abroad after the completion of a deportation. Employees sometimes stayed at five-star hotels in Dubai, Athens and Istanbul, the show discovered.

“I have respect for the view that this might seem a little unreasonable, and maybe even offensive sometimes,” transport service chief Hans Lagerlöf told the programme.

Lagerlöf’s unit is responsible from planning and booking the trips.

The prison service’s transport section planned more than 3,400 foreign trips last year, Kaliber said. This was down on the previous year’ figures, but the costs were higher.

According to the prison service, this was due to an uptick in the number of difficult cases requiring chartered airplanes and more security personnel.

But Kaliber’s investigation showed that staff often spent several nights abroad after dropping off their human cargo. More often than not, these hotel stays were in countries that were not the final destinations of the deportees.

The show also found that even when the final destination was in Europe, prison service staff often stayed a night in a hotel before travelling back to Sweden.

The hotels they stayed at were rarely near their airport, leading to high costs for taxi rides.  

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