UK tabloid The Sun spearheads a press campaign against the Romanian immigrants in England, launching a new media bomb in its Tuesday edition: “Romanians are responsible for 80% of the ATM thefts”.
The information is supposedly contained in a “secret memo of the Blair Cabinet”, quoted by the tabloid. The document would draw the attention towards the fact that Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession could represent a criminal wave heading for the island.
The “secret document” predicts a skyrocketing crime rate in street conflicts, human trafficking, prostitution and bank frauds after the Romanians and Bulgarians won’t face any custom restriction.
The Sun claims that the document was put up by the Immigration Minister Liam Byrne and the European Affairs Minister, Geoff Hoon, for the use of Tony Blair.
UK announced a week ago restrictions for unqualified Romanian workers, with a limited access to labor of 20,000/year. Still, visas are to be lifted starting on January 1st, 2007.
The main illegal activities that Romanians are expected to commit, and thus cause worry in UK are:
- ATM theft: 80-85% of all crimes are believed to be the work of organized crime networks formed by Romanian immigrants. The total amount stolen in 005 - 65.8 millions pounds sterling;
- street violence: aggressive behavior of beggars and pickpockets;
- human trafficking: mainly in the area of prostitution;
- financial frauds: smuggled cigarettes and tax evasion increase.
Romanian Foreign Minister, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu visited London only a few days ago, in order to express his surprise and discontent on the restrictions imposed to Romanian citizens, as well as his confidence in the soon-to-come lifting of these restrictions.