A total of 124 migrants were repatriated by the police between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 with funds from the European Return Fund (ERF) 2013-2016.

The police said in a statement this morning this was a significant increase over the 52 repatriated as part of the previous project co-financed under the Return Fund Annual Programme for 2012.

This rise in number was the direct result of the added efforts undertaken by the Immigration Police, it said.

The police said the ERF specifically established a financial solidarity mechanism supporting efforts of EU states to improve the management of returns in all its dimensions.

When migrants did not opt for voluntary return, the Immigration Police were required by law to remove those who were irregular. 

The police benefitted from the ERF to cover expenses related to the repatriation of third country nationals who did not, or no longer fulfilled the conditions for entry and stay in Malta, including failed asylum seekers.

The police say they have already made submissions for similar projects that would be undertaken in the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for the period 2014-2020.