Scores of suspected war criminals including those believed to be from Sri Lanka are living in Britain, a BBC report said today.
Almost 100 suspects – with the majority likely to have been living in Britain for years – originate from countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Rwanda, Serbia and Sri Lanka.
The Home Office, which says it is determined the UK will not become a refuge for war criminals, identified the suspects last year, the BBC reported. The figures emerged from a Freedom of Information request made by broadcaster.
They show that, in the 15 months from January 2012, the Home Office researched nearly 800 cases where individuals were suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It made “adverse recommendations” against 99 people who had applied for British citizenship, asylum or leave to remain in the UK, the BBC reported.
A further 16 war crimes suspects had applied to enter the UK. It follows earlier figures suggesting more than 700 suspected war criminals were identified by UK immigration officials between 2005 and 2012.
Of the 99 suspects, three were deported last year, 20 were refused asylum and 46 had their citizenship bids turned down but are likely to have remained in the UK. The fate of the remaining suspects is unknown.
The Metropolitan Police told the BBC that 56 people in the UK are currently subject to war crimes inquiries, although only nine cases were passed on to them by the Home Office.