Asylum seekers misrepresenting their age costed Austria 2.9 million euros (3 million U.S. dollars) in 2016, the Kurier newspaper reported on Monday.

Asylum seekers
Asylum seekers
Citing information provided during the parliament session, the report stated that last year there were suspicions surrounding the age of 2,252 asylum applicants, who had claimed to be unaccompanied minors.

Following subsequent multi-factor testing, that includes x-rays of the wrist and collar bones, 919 of these were indeed found to have provided false information concerning their age.

Each investigation costs 870 euros (922 U.S. dollars), leaving a significant overall bill to be picked up by the government.

The problem is well-known to authorities, the Kurier quoting a staff member at the Traiskirchen refugee camp as saying that “men who look much too old try to enter the system as minors.”

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The benefits for being recognized as a minor include not being sent back to the first EU country entered, faster family reunion procedures, and not having to live in mass asylum quarters.

An interior ministry spokesperson said providing such false information does not have legal implications for asylum seekers, though “does not help overall trustworthiness.” Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh