Denmark’s ‘jewellery law’ has not confiscated anything in its first week

Critics have said the bill was intended to be used as a signal, rather than a real legislation

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The Independent Online

The law that allows Denmark to seize cash and other valuables from refugees to pay for their stay in the country has failed to raise any money in its first week.

The controversial bill, which had been compared to the Nazi regime during World War Two, has not been used once since it came into forces on 5 February. 

According to guidelines from the Immigration Ministry, police are able to search asylum seekers’ luggage for cash and valuables worth more than 10,000 kroner (£1,000).

The law was passed in parliament on 26 January. 

Dave Brown's cartoon on Denmark's law

Items deemed to be of significant sentimental value, such as wedding rings, would not be taken from refugees.

Danish police confirmed to the Telegraph that “there have not been any cases where the new legislation has given rise to the seizure of money of valuables”.

Critics say Denmark has tried to portray itself as a destination few refugees would want to go to

In a statement, the Danish Police said: “The National Police can inform that the so-called jewellery law at the current time has not given rise to the confiscation of cash or valuables,” 

However, critics have said the bill was intended to be used as a signal, rather than a real legislation. 

Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, from the left-wing Red-Green alliance told Metroxpress: “I think it is quite obvious that this law is a signal than anything else.

“The government are quite satisfied with this because wasn’t the primary goal to tell the world that Denmark is not a nice place to be as a refugee?” she added. 

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Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Denmark’s president, has insisted the law has been misunderstood and claims Denmark has “nothing to be ashamed of”.

The president defends the countries’ actions by saying the same rules apply to all Danish citizens applying for social benefits. 

Other measures Denmark has taken in order to look “less inviting” to refugees include reducing social benefits for newcomers to be reduced by 50 per cent and not allowing foreign nationals to bring their families to Denmark within the first year. 

Denmark expects to receive around 25,000 refugees in 2016, which is more than the 21,000 registered asylum applications is recorded in 2015. 

More than one million refugees have arrived in Europe since the crisis began.