A bounty has effectively been placed on the head of tens of thousands of illegal migrants after a private company was awarded a multimillion pound contract to track down those refused permission to stay in the UK but whose whereabouts are unknown.
Capita plc, the support services supplier, has been given a contract worth up to £40m over four years to find more than 170,000 missing migrants, MPs were told on Tuesday by Rob Whiteman, chief executive of the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
The company was brought in after a pilot scheme with another private firm Serco found 20% of those migrants contacted left the UK within six months, according to Whiteman.
“The contract is a payment by results, where they will make contact with potential overstayers from our records,” he told the Commons home affairs select committee.
“The potential value of the contract, if they performed very well over a four-year period, would be around £40m.”