500,000 unregistered migrants roaming Germany – report

© Fabrizio Bensch
Half a million asylum seekers have made it into Germany without being registered in any way, according to a Bild magazine report that cites the German Interior Ministry. On Wednesday the ministry is set to present an interim report on crimes committed by refugees in Germany.

Germany's Interior Ministry does not know the whereabouts of about half a million migrants that entered the country as refugees, Bild newspaper has learnt. Refugees who come to Germany are obliged to register upon arrival, yet practically half of them do not do this.

“Many migrants do not register with the authorities for fear of being rejected,” Bild quoted its ministry source as saying.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière will submit an interim assessment on migrants’ criminal activities to the Federal Cabinet on Wednesday. In mid-March, the head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), Frank-Jürgen Weise, said the German authorities would receive an accurate picture of who is staying as a refugee in the country.

Over the course of the last year, an estimated 1.1 million refugees arrived in Germany. Most of the asylum seekers have come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the Balkan states.

In late February, Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that some 13 percent of all migrants who officially entered Germany in 2015 failed to turn up at the accommodation provided for them. The newspaper also quoted Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of Germany's Federal Office for Migration (BAMF), who said that there are as many as 400,000 asylum seekers within the country who have no ID documents, and that German authorities have proven unable to identify them.

The German government says nearly 5,000 child and teenage asylum seekers have gone missing from refugee homes since the start of 2016. Police believe that the figures could be distorted, but have not ruled out that some might have been the victims of crime.