Jail, deportation, for man staying in Malta illegally since 2008

The Gambian man has been using another man's identity during his stay in Malta

Matthew Agius
2 September 2017, 1:23pm
A Gambian man who has been living illegally in Malta since 2008, using another man’s identity has been jailed and will be deported after serving his sentence.

33 year-old Eliman Seck had requested humanitarian protection upon his arrival but this had not been granted, Inspector Victor Aquilina told magistrate Joseph Mifsud this morning. Seck had been arrested attempting to travel to Italy  to seek humanitarian protection there, explained the Inspector, but because he had first been fingerprinted in Malta, Malta would remain responsible for him and he would be sent back to Malta.

The magistrate was incredulous when told that Seck has been living in Malta since 2008.

“He’s been here since 2008, with no humanitarian protection status...why has nothing been done? Genuine cases, fleeing war and so on, fine, but this is not one of them.”

Inspector Aquilina replied that the man had previously been known as Suleiman Tare, as he had been using false documents, but the authorities had only found out about this in 2016. Requests to Gambia take a long time to be processed and because the man had given the police incorrect information, his details are unlikely to be found, he explained.

Magistrate Mifsud remarked that the immigration authorities ought to put pressure on the EU to issue documents for such cases themselves

Seck pleaded guilty. He was jailed for 6 months, after which he will be forcibly returned to Gambia. The court urged the authorities to immediately begin the process of collecting the necessary identification documentation. “It is not acceptable that the accused has been in Malta since 2008, when Gambia is not a country which qualifies for refugee protection.”

Lawyer Mark Mifsud Cutajar was defence counsel.

Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...