NI Immigration arrest man for “looking funny”

Funny Looking Ah the North. Gone are the days when the army roamed the streets and when talk of an ‘axis of evil’ meant the roads around South Armagh. Instead crime-fighting is now in the doldrums of boredom with stuff like people getting beaten up, drugs and the odd pub riot thanks to some Bohs fans. No wonder they want to make things a little more interesting.

Enter the Northern Ireland Immigration Bureau. Probably non-existent fifteen years ago because of the lack of tourism, it’s now a top job at Belfast City Airport. So unaccustomed to immigration duties, the security at the airport are in a spot of bother with the Equality Commission.

The story, according to the BBC, goes that Mr Frank Kakopa arrived in Northern Ireland with his wife and young children as part of a holiday. You know, Giants Causeway, Bushmills and all that. Anyway, Frank was stopped by Immigration at the aforementioned airport and was questioned. Despite numerous documents stating that he lived, worked, socialised and washed his car in England and the fact that Immigration rang his employer, Frank was strip-searched and then thrown into Maghaberry Prison. There he had no contact with his family, was allowed no phone calls and stayed with convicted criminals for two days before being released with, remarkably, no charges!

Now the Equality Authority have stated that there was no reason why Mr Kakopa was singled out “other than because he is black”.

We’ve heard about ‘zero tolerance’ but this is a bit too far. What’s next? The PSNI arrest old woman on suspicion of armed robbery despite the fact she no arms?! It seems that NI Immigration were suspicious of a well-dressed black man and his family coming through the Arrivals hall. What Waffler is finding even more strange is how they rang the employer, who confirmed his address, occupation, blood type and that scar on his left ankle, and still dropped him in prison. How did the conversation go? Was there something lost in translation? Do they not have structural engineers in the North? Hmmm.

Needless to say, Mr Kakopa sued the Immigration Service for false imprisonment and won. He has been paid £7,500 (€10,692), which is approximately the exact same price as 2 nights at the beautiful Hotel Maghaberry Prison. Let’s just hope that Frank and his family haven’t been put off visiting Ireland in the near future. Maybe next time arrive by boat? Might be easier.

More :: Tourist jailed ‘for being black’ (BBC)


~ by waffler on October 28, 2007.

One Response to “NI Immigration arrest man for “looking funny””

  1. Immigration everywhere are just losers who weren’t bright enough to become real cops. I hope they fired the wannabe who caused all this. And ten grand doesn’t seem much, does it?

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