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Immigration in Sweden: almost 900,000 without registration

Representatives of various Swedish governing bodies have admitted that Sweden’s parallel company is growing and that the situation is going out of control.

More than 870,000 unregistered people in Sweden received an identification number to live and work in the Scandinavian country. Now, the border police and the Swedish Revenue Agency have sounded the alarm about the fact that about 45% of them have not confirmed their identity.

The identification number allows people to live and work in Sweden without being registered. At present, there are no legal requirements either from the Swedish Revenue Agency or from the Migration Agency or the police to prove their identity in order to receive a number. The police admitted that the situation is going out of control.

“We have a parallel company that is just growing. We have completely lost control of those here. These are people who have no rights, but can also relate to people whose intentions of being here are completely unknown,” civilian border police investigator Nyheter Marit Murphy Handelsberg told Dagens.

After reviewing 4,000 coordination numbers, the Swedish Revenue Agency found that 45% do not have a verified identity. 75% of those from non-EU countries do not hold work and residence permits. While in 10% of cases it is suspected that some people could be exploited as illegal labor.

In November, the daily Svenska Dagbladet shouted at the scandal when it turned out that foreign citizens were abusing temporary identification numbers, issued by the Swedish Revenue Agency, to commit crimes or illegally obtain access to Swedish welfare. The police refer to these people as “ghosts” and their numbers are increasing.

“We have no hope,” said Robert Lindström of the border police, commenting on widespread crime and its extension.

Since the system was introduced some 20 years ago, hundreds of thousands of identity numbers have been issued, of which around 150,000 have been converted into permanent social security numbers, which all Swedish residents have. According to the Swedish police and tax agency, the problem is so wide that it has created a shadow society in which foreign citizens can work, pay taxes and have access to all the benefits of society, even if illegally.

The problem is compounded by widespread fraud of personal data. According to a 2017 TV4 report, over 50% of asylum seekers in Sweden record different personal data with different authorities, which in some cases are later used for criminal activities.

According to the Swedish tax agency, in the last few years between 45,000 and 55,000 identity numbers have been distributed annually.

As the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper pointed out, this makes it almost impossible to calculate the exact population of Sweden. The official figure of 10.3 million is based on population records. Those 873,000 who have been assigned a temporary coordination number are not included in the statistics and, worse yet, there are no precise figures on how many of them are real people, let alone still living in Sweden.

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