"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Algerian Thief Who Was Deported Twice Caught in London

More immigration idiocy which shows up just how insecure Britain's borders are. This one truly beggars belief.

An Algerian thief who has been deported from Britain twice before has been caught on CC:TV in London.

Described as a 'one man crime wave', Hakim Benmakhlouf preys on rich tourists, snatching bags outside 5-star hotels. He is also a former rent-boy and cocaine addict.

In July 2007, the government released him early from a prison sentence and gave him £3,000 to fly back to Algeria.

He returned just 24 hours later.

He was again arrested after turning back to crime and released after serving just one third of a three year sentence handed down in April last year. He was then flown to Algeria accompanied by an immigration officer at the expense of British taxpayers - and now, just days later, he's back in London.

Here's the full story:

A prolific bag snatcher twice deported from Britain has made a mockery of lax border controls for the second time in two years.

Hakim Benmakhlouf, 27, who has a string of convictions for stealing from rich tourists at five-star hotels and airports, has returned to London only days after being kicked out.

He was first thrown out in July 2007 when, while serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for theft, he was given £3,000 by the Government to be released early and fly home to his native Algeria.

But 24 hours later, he returned to London to continue his one-man crime wave.

He was re-arrested in April last year and jailed for three years the following month after admitting two thefts and asking for five similar offences to be taken into consideration.

But, incredibly, he was released from prison last month after serving just a third of his sentence and deported to his homeland.

Escorted by at least one immigration officer, he was flown back to Algeria at taxpayers' expense - only to return to London a few days later.

Police had no idea he had been freed until he was spotted in central London by two officers two weeks ago.

Immigration officers were alerted that he had slipped into the country again and an inquiry has begun.

Police warned that the father-of-two is almost certainly up to his old tricks again.

A furious Home Office source said: 'This is a major, major embarrassment. This man has made a mockery of our border controls and the criminal justice system.'

Efforts to trace Benmakhlouf were last night focusing on the St John's Wood area of North-West London, where the conman - who is rarely seen in anything but designer clothes - has previously rented luxury flats.

It was there, while drinking coffee at a restaurant near his home, that he was arrested on April 9 last year.

Prosecutor Helen Thomas told Southwark Crown Court in London last May that Benmakhlouf was a 'prolific thief'.

'The defendant targets high class hotels or airports,' she added. 'He targets tourists who are likely to have large amounts of currency and other valuables.'

The former rent boy, who uses 12 aliases, apparently began stealing from his clients to fuel a cocaine habit.

In December 1998, he was sentenced to two months in a young offenders' institution.

He received 15 months in March 1999, a year's probation in December 2000, 21 months in February 2001, 30 months in June 2003, 12 months in August 2003, 18 months in October 2004 and 42 months in December 2005.

Miss Thomas said it was during this sentence that he was handed £3,000 to accept voluntary deportation - only to return.

In October 2007, he was caught on CCTV stealing from guests at the Churchill Intercontinental Hotel in Portman Square, central London.

Benmakhlouf's other audacious thefts included a bag snatch at Madame Tussauds wax museum, where he sprayed his victim with tomato sauce to cause confusion.

Detective Sergeant Andy Swindells, who dealt with Benmakhlouf's case last May, refused to comment on his return to Britain

The UK Border Agency said: 'As soon as we receive intelligence of a foreign lawbreaker in the UK from the police, we will investigate as a matter of urgency.

'We have teams of officers working with police forces up and down the country to track down those with no right to be in Britain.'

I want to know what he was doing here in the first place. A prolific criminal, he could have been absolutely anyone - even in the GIA.

It makes one wonder just how many more people like him are walking around undetected, and just how many slip in every day.

I would like to point out to the UK Border Agency and the justice system that they make a mockery of themselves, however - there is no excuse for this level of incompetence, and a chancer like him can't be fully blamed for doing what comes naturally - it is their job to stop people like him coming.

Of course he will take advantage of such a lax system - it's what he does. The fact he was given £3,000 of taxpayers' money to leave the first time is appalling, and this matter should be investigated.

Giving individuals like this lots of money on top of the proceeds of their crimes is simply insanity.


Dr.D said...

There is a solution. Why do the British not use it?

Proudgeordie said...

"Detective Sergeant Andy SWINDLES..."

HAHAHAHA what a name for a copper isn't he batting for the wrong team?